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March 22, 2024

WPI, Stow firm among those splitting $2.5M in Mass. clean energy grants

A man wearing a white lab coat and safety goggles holds up a beaker Photos | Courtesy of Worcester Polytechnic Institute One of the key beliefs of Yan Wang from Worcester Polytechnic Institute is university research must make its way into industry.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Stow clean energy firm River Otter Renewables have been granted $75,000 each for climate-related initiatives, as part of a $2.5-million award statewide from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

Research led by Yan Wang at WPI is working to design a process of recycling and recovering valuable chemicals and metals from disposed solar panels, according to a Wednesday press release from MassCEC.

River Otter is developing a system of converting waste and sewage into renewable crude oil, which can be used for home heating oil, sustainable fuel for airplanes, and more. 

These awards represent two out of the 18 grants announced Wednesday and funded by three programs jointly administered by MassCEC and Boston capital firm MassVentures: Catalyst, Diversity in Cleantech - Early-Stage, and InnovateMass. The programs awarded a total of $2.5 million Wednesday as part of a statewide movement to fund clean energy and climate tech companies and researchers. 

“These awards are critical for these organizations to develop and demonstrate technical viability of their inventions and to accelerate them to funded, sustainable businesses,” MassVentures President and CEO Charlie Hipwood said in the release.

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