MEAM Seminar: “Materials and Manufacturing Solutions for Sustainable Energy”
October 11 at 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
In response to the grave and escalating threat of climate change, the US Department of Energy has announced a series of ambitious Energy Earth Shot Initiatives. These target an 80% reduction in the cost of clean hydrogen by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The first of the initiatives focuses on establishing a green hydrogen-powered grid. Hydrogen is expected to play an important role in the creation of a carbon neutral/positive hybrid network for energy production, storage, and distribution. Two key technological challenges are the repurposing of existing infrastructure, such as land-based gas turbines for hydrogen combustion, and accelerating deployment of new infrastructure, including far-offshore wind farms that can generate hydrogen for energy storage and transfer, helping to address energy demand intermittency and decentralization challenges.
As such, there is an urgent need to develop structural and tribological materials with greater resilience to harsh environments including hydrogen-containing fluids at extremes of temperature, which can range from liquid hydrogen (20 K) in cryogenic pumps and pressure vessels to >1500 K in gas turbines. High-entropy alloys (HEAs) and additive manufacturing (AM) methods are two areas of intensive research and a focus of this presentation. Highlights will be presented from ongoing work at Ames National Laboratory, in collaboration with other national laboratory, academic, and industry partners, including the use of AM as a means of processing refractory HEA and other traditionally difficult-to-manufacture alloys. The development and use of rapid mechanical property characterization methods will also be discussed, as well as how these are enabling alloy discovery and process optimization, including for HEAs, which are multi-element alloys that present an extraordinarily challenging departure from traditionally dilute compositions. Additionally, examples of new fundamental insights about structure-property relationships for compositionally and structurally complex systems like HEAs and metallic glasses will be presented.
Staff Scientist and Group Leader, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering, Ames National Laboratory, US Department of Energy
Dr. Nicolas Argibay is a staff scientist and group leader at the US DOE Ames National Laboratory in the Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering. He joined Ames in 2021, having formerly been a scientist in the Physical and Chemical Sciences Center at the US DOE Sandia National Laboratories. He earned a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 2011 and joined the research staff at Sandia in 2013 following a postdoctoral appointment in the same organization. His work focuses on developing materials and processing solutions for energy sustainability, with recent emphasis on design of alloys and composites for use at extreme temperatures and in harsh environments. This work is in support of DOE Energy Earth Shot Initiatives, including the transition of power generation to green hydrogen, decarbonization of the industrial sector, increasing offshore wind energy production, and enabling next-generation fission and fusion energy sources. This work has led to materials discoveries including extremely wear resistant electrical contact alloys (highly stable nanocrystallinity via grain boundary engineering), design of high-entropy alloys to enable competitive engineering outcomes with metals additive manufacturing (near-net shape), and fundamental discoveries about the ultimate strength of metals. He has generated 56 publications in peer-reviewed journals (h-index 24), 7 issued patents, and is the recipient of an R&D 100 award, the 31st HENAAC award for most promising scientist or engineer, and two FLC awards for innovation.