Energy and Sustainability

Clean energy and energy conservation are key to addressing pressing national, state, and local issues, including global warming, national security, and sustainable economic development.

In addition to developing technologies, SRI improves the effectiveness of science and technology, economic, environmental, and educational programs and policies. Activities related to energy and sustainability includes life cycle analysis, carbon footprinting, system design, and research to understand how technology evolves and diffuses into the marketplace.


researcher analyzing biocrude oil

An SRI-led team is improving a new two-step process for the production of transportation fuels from microalgae.

SRI researcher working on SRI's mixed- salt process

SRI’s mixed salt process uses known solvents in a new way to dramatically improve the economics of carbon capture.

SRI's falling-bead reactor

SRI’s carbon capture system can make economic sense today at facilities that produce and consume carbon dioxide.

Multi-arc fluidized bed reactor in operation with titanium alloys

SRI is developing an advanced process that reacts titanium tetrachloride and other metal chlorides with hydrogen to produce titanium or titanium alloy granules in a single step.

SRI's proof-of-concept system

SRI is developing a safe, low-pressure, conformable natural gas tank for light-duty vehicles.

Carbon emissions map used by students to investigate warming

DIGS engages students in looking at real data about climate change to differentiate between possible greenhouse gas and urban heat island impacts.

hollow fiber membrane being inserted into a pressure value

SRI’s hollow fiber membrane separates hydrogen from carbon dioxide at high temperatures and improves the economics of carbon capture from IGCC plants.

Products & Solutions

NTER platform screenshot

For the U.S. Department of Energy, SRI developed the NTER platform to meet the online training needs of a diverse 21st century workforce.

demonstration of artificial muscle

SRI has patented a thin, flexible, smart material dubbed “artificial muscle” because it behaves much like a human muscle. Artificial muscle, available for license from SRI for a variety of application areas, uses a breakthrough technology called electroactive polymers.

An SRI solar reactor

Demand for solar energy is growing rapidly due to concerns about energy independence and the environment. Propelled by consumer interest and favorable public policy, there is a growing need for ample and affordable sources of silicon to create solar cells.

Press Releases

SRI’s proof-of-concept for a conformable natural gas storage tank.

BlackPak™, Inc., announces that ARPA-E has awarded it a $4.6M cooperative agreement for the development of its natural gas fuel tank technology. The effort leverages technology from SRI.

coal to liquid

Researchers have identified a promising new way to produce liquid transportation fuels from coal without consuming water or generating carbon dioxide.

SRI International has been awarded a $4.5M Department of Energy (DoE) project to evaluate the technical and economic viability of carbon dioxide capture using an ammonium carbonate-ammonium bicarbonate (AC-ABC) process at gasification plants integrated with combined cycle (IGCC) power plants.

Ripudaman Malhotra, of SRI International’s Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory, will deliver the keynote address at the 2008 Greentech Innovations Conference, examining the complexities of today’s energy challenges.

SRI announced the deployment of a prototype buoy-mounted, ocean wave-powered generator off the coast of Florida in the Tampa Bay, part of a program sponsored by HYPER DRIVE Corporation, Ltd., a Japanese company.

SRI In the News

The Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced funding for SRI's Spectrally Tuned Polymer Technology for Inducing Cooling (STATIC) Radiative Cooling for Cold Storage project.

If the new technique is proven successful in the long run, application of this precious metal could be possible in mid-ranged products, says the author.

Titanium is often used where low weight and high strength are required and money is no object—because it's extremely costly to produce. Now, a new manufacturing technique from SRI could reduce the expense, and make the material as useful for cars as it is for fighter jets.

SRI’s process uses plasma arcs to facilitate reactions between molecules of hydrogen and titanium chloride, a chemical produced from titanium ore. “Arcs, like lightning bolts, crack the hydrogen, producing atomic hydrogen that can readily react,” says Barbara Heydorn, senior director of the Energy...

SRI will develop a wearable electroactive textile for physiology-based thermoregulation under ARPA-E’s DELTA program.

SRI leads TEAM SEAS, One of 18 groups participating in a global competition to revolutionize ocean pH sensor technology.

An SRI-led team is among those moving forward in a global competition to create pH sensor technology that will affordably and accurately measure ocean acidification.

Algae Systems believes it will be able to turn a profit by doing several other things while turning algae oil into a usable fuel. The Department of Energy recently awarded a $4 million grant to a partnership led by SRI International for further work on Algae Systems’ hydrothermal processing system.

Alabama can now lay claim to the world’s first algae biofuel system that also treats municipal wastewater. A $3.2 million Department of Energy grant for algae biofuel goes to a research consortium led by SRI and Algae Systems.

The U.S. Department of Energy delivered a $4 million grant to a partnership led by SRI to work with Algae Systems on technology that turns harvested algae into diesel and jet fuel, and at the same time the waste water is cleaned and can be reused.


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SRI is a sponsor of this Precourt Energy Efficiency Center annual event, which offers unparalleled opportunities for everyone in Silicon Valley—and beyond—connected with sustainable energy.

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SRI researchers Nasim Ehterami, Tripura Mulukutla, Jin-Ping Lim, Fran Tanzella, and Jordi Perez will present a poster, "Multi-step hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of algae with nutrient recycling."

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SRI scientists will present four papers at this event, covering recent developments in SRI’s solvent- and sorbent-based approaches to post-combustion capture and membrane- and solvent-based approaches to pre-combustion capture.

Andres Cardenas

Andres Cardenas will present “Health Monitoring of Product Strains Using Absorption Spectroscopy: Bridging Fundamental Scattering Theory and Remote Sensing Approaches” in Poster Session 1 on June 8.

Indira Jayaweera

SRI senior staff scientist and program director Indira Jayaweera will speak on a novel “mixed salt” process for carbon dioxide separation.

Ripudaman Malhotra

Ripudaman Malhotra, Ph.D., associate director of SRI's Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory, will speak on "A Cubic Mile of Oil."

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On Wednesday, Jan. 28, Ripudaman Malhotra, Ph.D., associate director of SRI's Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory, will join a panel discussion on "Nuclear Energy as a Non-Carbon Energy Option."


Presenting research to meet the need of a thermochemical process that allows economic conversion of wet biomass to liquid fuels.

The potential for particulates entrained in hydrogen releases to generate electrostatic charge and induce electrostatic discharge ignitions was investigated.

To forecast competing technologies under various scenarios of electricity demand, fuel cost, and research investment, SRI International researchers and partners have created a Power Technology Futures Model (PTFM).

Blog Posts

While advances in energy efficiency, electric cars and renewable energy make the news, the big story is how advances in materials science make it all possible.

Guest blogger Rob Day explains how hardware startups can succeed without spending too much money.

Investing in greentech these days is all about new thinking and new models. On September 12 at SRI, investors, entrepreneurs, and others will gather to discuss how the sector is being reinvented.

SRI is developing a new storage technology for natural gas that could enable more widespread use in passenger vehicles.

No matter who wins the U.S. presidency, our energy problems will continue to be a prominent but unfortunately neglected issue.

Energy supply is perhaps the largest global problem facing us today. In the first of a three-series blog, we will look at the magnitude of the problem and the many nuances to the solutions.