The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) has awarded a nearly $300,000 grant to Ranji Vaidyanathan, Ph.D., Varnadow professor of materials science and engineering at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa, to develop a lightweight storage tank for low-temperature pressurized fuels.
Vaidyanathan is working with Infinite Composites Technologies (ICT) on developing a “Cryogenic Composite Engineered Laminated (CryoCEL™)” tank.
“The ideal application for this project is for transporting fuels that require storage at low temperatures.” Vaidyanathan said. “The new tank will be more economical because of its lighter weight and ability to conserve fuel by preventing boil-off.”
OSU-Tulsa and ICT (formerly CleanNG) signed a facility use agreement last fall that provides the company access to the Helmerich Research Center’s Next Generation Materials Lab at OSU-Tulsa. Aside from the most recent OCAST award, Vaidyanathan and ICT have been awarded more than $500,000 in research grants from OCAST and the National Science Foundation since 2013.
“This collaborative project between Dr. Vaidyanathan and ICT will have an impact on the state and local economy,” said OSU-Tulsa President Howard Barnett. “At OSU-Tulsa, we are very proud of our research faculty and their efforts to develop and commercialize innovative engineering technology.”
Once completed, the project is expected to generate $8.8 million in additional wages to Oklahoma, Vaidyanathan said.
OSU alumni Matt Villarreal and Michael Tate founded ICT in 2010 while they were students in Stillwater.
“We’re thrilled about this new research opportunity. We’ve been getting cryogenic tank inquiries for a while and now we have the funds to develop it,” said Tate, who also is ICT’s chief operating officer. “This is fantastic timing coming off a $1.5 million investment that closed earlier this year.”
OCAST announced $7.5 million in grant awards last month for 48 Oklahoma research and development projects. The state agency was established to foster innovation in existing and developing businesses in Oklahoma.
The OSU-Tulsa Helmerich Research Center is a state-of-the-art research and education center. The 123,000-square-foot facility was created with a mission to provide research, testing, technology transfer and education to advance the region's aerospace, energy, manufacturing, transportation, electronics and medical industries. To learn more about the HRC, visit https://www.osu-tulsa.okstate.edu/helmerich/index.php.