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High Energy

September 01, 2012

This year's first fall TV spot, which airs during Ohio State football games, focuses on energy research—part of a major university push toward a more sustainable future.

At Ohio State, "fuel efficiency" isn't just a trendy phrase. It's the life mission of researchers--and it's a big part of a university-wide effort to study issues related to sustainability.

The Office of Energy and Environment brings it all together, with researchers throughout the university collaborating to solve global sustainability issues. And the Technology Commercialization Office works on bringing researchers' green innovations to market.

Want more evidence that Ohio State is scarlet, gray, and green? Read on to find out what researchers are doing--and how the campus community is involved:

  • Green cars: Ohio State's Center for Automotive Research connects researchers with industry partners like Honda and Ford and gives students real-world experience that leads to jobs. Student projects include the Buckeye Bullet racecar, which holds the land-speed record for a battery-powered electric vehicle at more than 307 miles per hour, and the fuel-efficient EcoCAR2project, in which engineering students compete in a real-world challenge sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Green power: There's no "silver bullet" when it comes to sustainable energy; that's why Ohio State researchers are studying a variety of potential fuel sources. Prof. Robert Tabita, seen in the TV spot, is working with colleagues from Ohio State and Battelle Memorial Institute; his goal is to use soil bacteria to turn carbon dioxide into an alternative to gasoline. Other researchers at Ohio State are working on promising research in biofuel development; solar research; and fusion energy.
  • Green campus: Through the Zero Waste program, the university diverted about 75 percent of 2011 game day trash from landfills, turning it into compost used to beautify campus instead. Ohio State also is a campus trailblazer in the green building departments, with a Green Build Policy that sets a high bar for green design and construction. Campus buses are getting in on the game, too: their use of biodiesel and Transportation and Parking's anti-idling guidelines have earned them an Ohio Green Fleet designation.