Energy Research

Energy Research from the NMR Facility

Structure of Boron-Based Catalysts from 11B Solid-State NMR at 35.2T


Energy Research from the AMRIS Facility

Microscale diffusion in mixed linker zeolitic imidazolate framework

Schematics of ethane diffusion in ZIF-7-8

Energy Research from the ASC

Hafnium greatly improves Nb3Sn superconductor for high field magnets

Creating, storing and conserving energy — a product for which there is a limited supply and nearly unlimited demand — has been a topic of global conversations for decades.

Scientists use high magnetic fields to better understand existing energy sources and to explore new ones. By examining crude oil samples, scientists are learning how to improve petroleum refining, minimize the impact of oil spills and convert abundant, lower-quality crude oil into usable fuel. Data collected in high-field magnets on natural products, such as pine needles and algae, is providing important information on how to diversify our energy sources.


The lab's research priorities are determined by its user community. The lab’s energy-related science drivers are:

Energy and Environment. The national imperative in energy production, storage and use including

  • crude oil and biofuel analysis via ion cyclotron resonance, and
  • catalyst and fuel-cell materials research via electron and nuclear magnet resonance

Research on lithium batteries and the development of more efficient fuel cells could fundamentally change the way energy is stored and delivered. Harnessing power from renewable energy sources like clean wind and solar will require better energy storage, which is also part of the fundamental research taking place at the MagLab.

Much of the MagLab’s energy research occurs in the Ion Cyclotron Resonance Facility, but chemistry research is conducted across the lab’s seven user facilities. The Future Fuels Institute, located at the MagLab’s headquarters, works with industrial collaborators to develop and advance novel techniques related to renewable and difficult-to-refine oils for the production of fuels and chemicals.

View highlights of some of the lab's recent energy research.

Last modified on 17 June 2015