The Vision of MRTI is to create fundamental scientific understanding that leads to commercial relevance. This means theory, experiment, engineering, business and commercialization are intimately connected and must be performed by interdisciplinary teams.
MRTI’s mission is take fundamental understanding developed by UTEP scientists and engineers to commercial development. Mayan Pigments is an example where UTEP theory and materials science have developed novel products that are now sold world - wide. It is also part of MRTI’s mission to achieve our mission and goals with the active participation of our Hispanic majority students. In this we have been successful.
1. MRTI director, Russell R. Chianelli was an active participant in the Washington Advisory Group (WAG) that helped develop the strategic plan and thus, the objectives are well understood.
Firstly, MRTI’s major thrust is Energy and the Environment with additional efforts in Emerging Technologies: Information Technology, Biotechnology & Nanotechnology and Health and Biomedical Sciences and Engineering.
• High Volumetric Activity Catalysts for Chemicals: UTEP invented and patented catalysts have unusual activity and selectivity for producing petrochemical. (DOW Chemicals)
• Novel Heavy Feed Upgrading: Developed techniques for upgrading heavy hydrocarbons. (TIED Corp.)
• Sonic Process for Removing Lipids from Algae and Novel Method for Monitoring Lipid Production (development phase): These methods promise to enhance processes for making biodiesel and we are talking with potential customers. (Navaho Nation)
• Novel Gasification Catalysts (development phase): We have patented very high activity catalyst useful for CO + H2 conversion to long chain alcohols and petrochemical products. The published materials will be presented to DOW in April. (NASA/Oxford Catalysts)
• Inexpensive Organic/inorganic Photovoltaic Devices (development/research phase): This program which uses inexpensive asphaltenes materials is making good progress and promises to be commercial (Currently funded by HUNT POWER, Dallas).
• Enhancement of Methane Producing Organism in Solid Waste Landfills (development/research phase): This program enhances the rate that methane producing organisms in landfills produce methane by identifying limitations such as nutrients, water, etc. This program needs a partner.
• Novel Thermoelectric Materials (development/research phase): We are developing novel thermoelectric materials to convert waste heat to electricity (Currently funded by TXL Corp.)
• Bioremediation/Phytoremediation Solutions (development/research phase): Based on Exxon Valdez bioremediation and phytoremediation experience. We can provide services for cleaning contaminated sites.
• Novel Hydrogen Storage Materials (research phase): We have a novel hydrogen storage material that has the potential of being the most efficient system yet discovered on a weight and volume basis.
• Photo-catalytic Processing of Methane/CO2 to Useful Transportation Liquids (research phase): This program that has just started has a huge potential to produce clean fuels from Methane and CO2