Publication Date

Agnes S. MacDonald Professor of Mechanical Engineering Ann Anderson was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) grant for her project “I-Corps: Aerogels – A Catalyst for Cleaner Air.” The core team for this project is made up of Professor Anderson, the technical lead and Principal Investigator; Elizabeth Donlon ’18, the entrepreneurial lead; and Jeff Goronkin, CEO of URBAN CO-WORKS, partner at Buzz Media Solutions, and the I-Corps mentor. Also involved in the project are Dwane W. Crichton Professor of Chemistry Mary Carroll, Professor of Mechanical Engineering Brad Bruno, and mechanical engineering student Sam Kupiec ’19.

Through this grant, there is the potential to develop aerogel-based catalysts as a sustainable, environmentally friendly material for pollution mitigation applications. These materials could reduce or even eliminate the use of precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium that are currently used in automotive exhaust after-treatment systems. Aerogel catalysts could have a significant positive economic and environmental impact on the nation. The commercialization of these materials will extend the design space available to pollution-control system engineers and open new, potentially transformative avenues for meeting current and future pollution regulations.

Learn more about aerogels and Union’s Aerogel Laboratory here.