The fifth annual forum hosted more than 200 academicians, energy industry leaders, government officials and entrepreneurs. The forum focused on technology that is imminently ready for commercialization, especially those technologies that will have a near-term positive impact on commercial, industrial and residential energy savings.
Whittenberger spoke to the fact that regional development, as it relates to energy and manufacturing, is best served when there is a strong partnership between the public and private sectors. His case in point was Catacel’s outreach to NASA Glenn Research Center to solve a thorny problem.
“We had been running Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling at YSU for about a year on our structured industrial steam methane reforming catalyst in an attempt to characterize it and make predictions about alternate designs,” Whittenberger said. “This work was conducted by a YSU engineering intern and supervised by Catacel’s engineering staff. The results were less than encouraging. We then tapped NASA GRC for help through their ‘Roadshow’ program, which is offered specifically to facilitate technology and expertise exchange. We met with their experts at YSU in December. They reviewed our work and made excellent suggestions about how we should proceed. We implemented many of their suggestions in the model and had a follow-up meeting at Catacel in April.
"With NASA’s help, our CFD models are aligning much better to test results and can be trusted to give us insights about alternate structured catalyst geometries. It was a very successful and insightful engagement.” (See Story.)