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A headshot of Dr. David Powers on the left and a headshot of Dr. Emily Pentzer on the right.
Dr. David Powers and Dr. Emily Pentzer are playing a critical role in the Breakthrough Electrolytes for Energy Storage Energy Frontier Research Center, which focuses on designing and developing new electrolytes for energy storage. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering
Developing compact, low-cost, high-functioning energy storage technologies is becoming increasingly important as society attempts to improve the power grid and continues to create game-changing alternative energy solutions.
Dr. Emily Pentzer and Dr. David Powers from Texas A&M University are key personnel of Case Western Reserve University’s Breakthrough Electrolytes for Energy Storage (BEES) Energy Frontier Research Center. Pentzer will serve as the lead of one of the two thrusts within the center. The BEES center, funded by the Department of Energy, was recently renewed for another four years. 
The goal of the BEES center is to use cheap and abundant liquid materials for electrolytes that can be used for electrochemical energy storage. The applications of these electrolytes range from redox flow batteries to supercapacitors.
“We want to fundamentally understand how physical properties, like density or viscosity, impact the ability to store energy,” said Pentzer. “Additionally, we want to make sure we are developing energy storage devices that use domestic resources, are readily available and provide low-cost energy storage options.”  
The researchers hope their experimental and theoretical findings on electrolyte chemistries will lead to innovations and the design and development of new electrolytes that will ultimately transform the field of energy storage.
“I hope this spurs interest in our research areas and programs, but more than that, I hope this leads to sustainable and efficient energy storage innovations,” said Pentzer. 
Pentzer is an associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M. Powers is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M. 
The center is a collaborative effort between researchers at Case Western Reserve University; the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; the University of Notre Dame; Columbia University; New York University; Hunter College of the City University of New York; Brookhaven National Laboratory; and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.