Six Oklahoma State University researchers have been awarded funding through the Oklahoma Applied Research Support program administered by the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology.
The OARS program represents a long-term effort by the state of Oklahoma to encourage technology-based economic development, according to OCAST. The OSU projects were chosen from a field of 42. Proximity to commercialization and good science were the primary standards used to select the top applicants.
In the area of energy, Priyank Jaiswal, assistant professor of geology, will use his award to develop a test model to optimize drilling operations during fracking. Each year Oklahoma oil and gas companies waste $10 million in drilling and fracking costs due to their inability to predict the trajectory and pattern of hydraulically stimulated fractures, Jaiswal says.
Ranji Vaidyanathan, professor of materials science and engineering, will develop low-pressure, liner-less all composite adsorbed natural gas tanks. The technology could replace high pressure natural gas tanks with lower pressure systems.
In the area of chemistry, Allen Apblett, professor of chemistry, will develop a technology able to transform propane to propylene, a high-value commodity chemical feedstock for a variety of chemicals.
From biotechnology, Jeanmarie Verchot, professor of entomology and plant pathology, will create virus-free canna lilies through diagnostic screening and tissue culture. Verchot says traditional growing techniques have produced an epidemic explosion of new diseases in the nursery industry. Growing canna lilies is a $400 million per year business in Oklahoma.
For advanced materials, Jay Hanan, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, will target development of high-strength, high-elastic limit and an amorphous microstructure metallic glass as a honeycomb base material.
Nirmal Govindaraju, research associate in materials science and engineering, aims to use nanodiamonds to improve the ability to detect chemical and biological substances that may be used in terrorist-type activities.