UW Chemical Engineering alumni Susie Stenkamp (PhD '99) and Richard Zheng (PhD '00) won a 2007 R&D 100 Award from R&D Magazine for developing a compact device that manages heat and recovers water in fuel systems.
R&D Magazine gives the awards annually in recognition of the 100 most technologically significant products introduced to the marketplace over the past year. The Chicago Tribune called the awards “the Oscars of invention.”
Stenkamp, Zheng and fellow chemical engineer Ward TeGrotenhuis developed their microchannel gas-liquid processing device at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Wash.
The device, which is much smaller than similar products, manages heat and recovers water to balance consumption in fuel cell systems and fuel processors. Its compact size and ability to operate in a wide range of conditions make it ideal for use in portable or mobile fuel cell applications including vehicles, auxiliary power supplies and electronics systems.
The device also can be used to distill diesel fuel to aid in removing sulfur so that it can be converted to hydrogen. Additionally, the U.S. Army is testing the device as a way to use wasted heat or liquid from fuel systems to provide portable cooling on battlefields.
The device was developed with funding from NASA and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office.
Stenkamp and Zheng accepted the award in October 2007 in Chicago. The awards reception was held in the Grand Ballroom at the Navy Pier.