Dr. Susan Odom, an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky, was recently awarded an I-Corps grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The I-Corps program encourages scientists to explore ways in which they can transform their research into entrepreneurial opportunities. According to the NSF, the I-Corps program “teaches NSF grantees to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research, and offers entrepreneurship training to participants by combining experience and guidance from established entrepreneurs through a targeted curriculum…I-Corps programs help researchers translate discoveries into technologies with near-term benefits for the economy and society.”

Odom’s work aims to develop a new kind of energy storage device using organic molecules. Known as a non-aqueous redox flow battery, this new model offers critical advantages over current, aqueous-based systems. For example, the redox flow battery provides a higher energy storage capacity, while occupying a much smaller footprint. Moreover, this new technology would allow manufacturers to work with less toxic materials than traditional large energy storage systems.

In addition to Dr. Odom, the project includes two other participants. Aman Preet Kaur, a University of Kentucky Post-Doctoral Scholar, serves as the entrepreneurial lead, responsible for exploring the commercial landscape and market potential for their research. James Landon, a UK faculty member and entrepreneur, serves as the project mentor, bringing entrepreneurial experience and serving as the principal guide in determining the technology disposition.

Dr. Odom joined the University of Kentucky in 2011. Her work plays an important role in KY NSF EPSCoR’s Electrochemical Energy Storage research pillar.

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