Carnegie Mellon University
December 07, 2017

ESTP core faculty received $50K Energy Award for Creating Eco-friendly Battery

Jay Whitacre, director of Carnegie Mellon University's Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, has been awarded the 2017 Leigh Ann Conn Prize for Renewable Energy for creating the first mass-produced, low-cost, eco-friendly battery called the Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI™).

This $50,000 biannual award presented by the University of Louisville recognizes outstanding renewable energy ideas and achievements with proven global impact. Whitacre's sodium-ion batteries, which use water-based chemicals, are an economical way to incorporate renewable energy into the grid. The batteries do not feature lead, lithium or organic solvents.

"Dr. Whitacre is a world-class scientist and entrepreneur dedicated to the viability of low-cost energy storage," said Greg Postel, University of Louisville interim president. "The University of Louisville celebrates his research and its positive influence. In a changing world of energy use, he is an outstanding winner of the Leigh Ann Conn Prize."

Whitacre, the College of Engineering's Trustee Professor of Energy in the departments of Materials Science & Engineering and Engineering & Public Policy, came to Carnegie Mellon in 2007. Shortly after, he debuted his unique battery — the only sustainable battery to ever be mass-produced and Cradle to Cradle Certified™.

Read more about this award.