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2013 Finalist Teams

The Energy Department would like to congratulate the 2013 National Competition winner, SiNode Systems:

  • The Rice University logo. Western Southwest Region (run by Rice University Business Plan Competition in Houston, Texas)

    SiNode Systems, Northwestern University
    SiNode's lithium battery anode technology addresses the two aspects of battery improvement, energy capacity and power density. SiNode Systems' Si-graphene composite anode provides up to a ten-fold increase in energy capacity compared to the conventional graphite anode, and the energy capacity of a complete battery assembly is increased by 50 percent to 100 percent. The graphene scaffolding of the anode provides for more flexible support and a faster charging of the battery, up to ten-fold increase.

The Energy Department would also like to congratulate the other 2013 Regional Competition winners:

  • The Clean Energy Trust logo. Eastern Midwest Region (run by Clean Energy Trust in Chicago, Illinois)

    Bearing Analytics, Purdue University
    Bearing Analytics provides telemetry solutions offering a temperature and vibration sensing to the industrial and wind turbine bearing markets. This technology allows users to predict bearing failure before it happens, helping to alleviate safety concerns, prevent costly gearbox failures in wind turbines, extend product lifetimes and increase energy efficiency.

  • The CleanTech logo. Western Midwest Region (run by University of Colorado Cleantech New Venture Challenge in Boulder, Colorado)

    Invironment, Brigham Young University
    PlasTekTM is a patent-pending technology created by Inviroment that facilitates the biodegradation of all types of plastic found in landfills. PlasTekTM is sprayed onto waste as it enters a landfill and begins to decompose any plastic it touches. As a result, the average landfill will experience a 13-20% increase in capacity annually (worth $3.1 million). Additionally, PlasTekTM accelerates the methane output from plastics. Methane is already collected by many landfills as a source of clean energy. With PlasTekTM, the average landfill will collect enough additional methane to power over 4,000 homes annually.

  • The CleanTech logo.Southeast Region (run by University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland)

    Bioadhesive Alliance Inc., North Carolina A&T University
    Bioadhesive Alliance is developing and manufacturing "PiGrid," a bio-based adhesive derived from hog waste that is environmentally-friendly, low-cost, and durable and can be utilized as a substitute to petroleum-based asphalt binder. The PiGrid's bio-adhesive is a sustainable resource for petroleum-asphalt binder that provides the pavement industry a lower production cost and an enhanced performance product, and it provides a solution for hog producers, governments, and trade associations looking for appropriate solutions for waste management from traditional swine waste decomposition lagoon designs.

  • The First Look West (FLoW) logo. Western Region (run by California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California)

    University of California Berkeley, Pyro-E
    Pyro-E is developing an efficient solid-state system for electricity generation from waste heat. Pyro-E's solid-state system will increase energy-use efficiency and reduce environmental impact by capturing heat loss from other processes, such as fuel cell heat waste streams, and utilize the heat to generate clean electricity.

  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology logo. Northeast Region (run by Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts)

    Picasolar, University of Arkansas
    Picasolar has developed a Hydrogen Selective Emitter (HSE), which offers solar cell manufacturers the ability to boost the efficiency of solar cells by doping them in a way that improves the electrical connection, mitigating a "dead layer" at the surface of the cell. The HSE increases solar power conversion efficiency and reduces the amount of silver needed to produce high-efficiency solar cells. With their HSE technology, manufacturers could increase profits from by approximately $35 per solar panel based on efficiency gains and silver cost savings.