Category: Research

THE MOSAIC APPROACH: a Multidimensional Strategy for Strengthening America’s Critical Minerals Supply Chain 10/18/2021

The Mosaic Approach: a Multidimensional Strategy for Strengthening America’s Critical Minerals Supply Chain

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian and Faculty Fellow Ian Lange contribute to this report by the Wilson Center on how the United States faces a troubling scenario when it comes to the supply chain for critical minerals. Rapidly increasing demand, under-developed national resources, intense international competition, and years of neglect in this issue area place the U.S. at a distinct disadvantage vis-à-vis China in securing access to the metals and Rare Earth Elements that are vital for the energy transition and for geopolitical ambitions. This paper reflects the dialogue sustained by a high-level group of stakeholders in the summer of 2021 and argues that the United States must take a number of key steps to make the critical minerals supply chain more resilient.  October 18, 2021.

Beirut Power: Trends and Turning Points 10/14/2021

Beirut Power: Trends and Turning Points

Payne Institute Communications Associate Elsa Barron, Earth Observation Group Senior Research Associate Christopher Elvidge and Research Associate Feng-Chi, Hsu write about how in Beirut, it plunged the 2.4 million-person city into darkness this weekend. The Lebanese power grid shut down on Saturday due to depleted fuel resources, which comes after months of economic crisis in the country. October 14, 2021.

Revealing the Dynamics and Roles of Iron Incorporation in Nickel Hydroxide Water Oxidation Catalysts 10/12/2021

Revealing the Dynamics and Roles of Iron Incorporation in Nickel Hydroxide Water Oxidation Catalysts

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Ryan Richards collaborates on a paper that looks at how the surface of an electrocatalyst undergoes dynamic chemical and structural transformations under electrochemical operating conditions. There is a dynamic exchange of metal cations between the electrocatalyst and electrolyte. Understanding how iron in the electrolyte gets incorporated in the nickel hydroxide electrocatalyst is critical for pinpointing the roles of Fe during water oxidation. Here, we report that iron incorporation and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) are highly coupled, especially at high working potentials.  October 12, 2021.

Application of Mobile Energy Storage for Enhancing Power Grid Resilience: A Review 10/10/2021

Application of Mobile Energy Storage for Enhancing Power Grid Resilience: A Review

Mines/NREL Advanced Energy Systems PhD student Jesse Dugan, Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Salman Mohagheghi, and NREL Researcher Benjamin Kroposki write about how natural disasters can lead to large-scale power outages, affecting critical infrastructure and causing social and economic damages. These events are exacerbated by climate change, which increases their frequency and magnitude. Improving power grid resilience can help mitigate the damages caused by these events. Mobile energy storage systems, classified as truck-mounted or towable battery storage systems, have recently been considered to enhance distribution grid resilience by providing localized support to critical loads during an outage. This paper provides a comprehensive and critical review of academic literature on mobile energy storage for power system resilience enhancement.  October 10, 2021.

Mines professor part of team using supercomputing, big data to answer seismology’s biggest questions 10/7/2021

Mines professor part of team using supercomputing, big data to answer seismology’s biggest questions

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Ebru Bozdag is one of the five principal investigators of a $3.2 million NSF research project over four years that will unite seismic data analysis and modeling with supercomputing power to answer some of the biggest questions about Earth’s seismic activity, interior, and dynamics. October 7, 2021.

Phytoremediation and phytoextraction in Sub-Saharan Africa Addressing economic and social challenges 10/6/2021

Phytoremediation and phytoextraction in Sub-Saharan Africa: Addressing economic and social challenges

Payne Institute Program Manager Jordy Lee, Faculty Fellow Rennie B. Kaunda, Thomson Sinkala, Payne Scholar Caleb F. Workman, Director Morgan D. Bazilian, and Deputy Director Greg Clough write about how mining and mineral processing continues to be a source of lasting environmental problems in many developing economies. Phytoremediation has proven to be a viable strategy to remediate contaminated lands and limit environmental damage, but it has not been widely implemented partially due to social and economic challenges.  This paper provides a conceptual approach for phytoremediation-based mineral recovery and explores the social and economic challenges related to large-scale deployment.   October 6, 2021.  

Colorado’s Skies Really Are That Much Smokier As Western Wildfires Worsen 9/28/2021

Colorado’s Skies Really Are That Much Smokier As Western Wildfires Worsen

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Research Associate Tamara Sparks contributes to this article about how a surge of large wildfires in the West, fueled in part by climate change, has increased the number of days residents are breathing smoke across nearly every part of Colorado.  The number of days with smoky skies has grown over the last decade, the data show, blanketing Colorado from the Eastern Plains to the Western Slope — including northern parts of the state and the heavily populated Front Range corridor.  September 28, 2021.

Planning for a Resilient Home Electricity Supply System 9/28/2021

Planning for a Resilient Home Electricity Supply System

Emon Chatterji, Kate Anderson, and Payne Institute Director Morgan D. Bazilian write about the resilience of power systems is already a key issue that is getting frequent attention all over the world. It is useful to analyze resilience issues not only for bulk supply, but at all levels including at a customer level. This is because distributed energy resources can play a prominent role in enhancing resilience. A planning model is developed that incorporates multiple facets of resilience and individual customer preferences.  September 28, 2021. 

Tallgrass to track, measure emissions on U.S. interstate natgas pipeline 9/28/2021

Tallgrass to track, measure emissions on U.S. interstate natural gas pipeline

The Payne Institute is a data science partner with Project Canary to help Tallgrass Energy Partners monitor emissions, including methane and other greenhouse gases, on its Rockies Express Pipeline, making it the first U.S. company to measure the environmental impact of operations on an interstate natural gas pipeline.  September 28, 2021.