Alex C. Breckel

  • Webber Energy Group (Spring 2012 – Fall 2012)
  • Current: Research Assistant at Massachusetts Institute of Technology/MITei Energy Fellow
Research Topics

Solid recovery fuel from recycling facility residue.

  • Single-stream recycling increases consumer recycling rates and diverts millions of tons of waste from landfills every year. However, one disadvantage of the single-stream system is that material recycling facilities have economic and practical limits on recovery efficiencies, landfilling 5-15% of total incoming material as residue. My research looks at the energetic, environmental and economic trade-offs associated with converting recycling facility residue into solid recovery fuel for use in cement kilns and coal-fired power plants. Converting the residue to fuel recovers the embedded energy of the material and replaces some portion of coal in primary energy intensive processes.
    Modular distributed data centers colocated with renewable power generation.
  • The electricity sector is being transformed by increasingly high-granularity data collection while information management requires ever more electricity to cope with increasing demands for data processing. Conventional approaches to the development of these technologies treat the two systems uniquely. However, opportunities exist that simultaneously facilitate development of these traditionally distinct sectors. Recent and ongoing transformations within each sector such as increased reliance on renewable power generation, cloud computing, data center aggregation, and compute as a service are key to this mutual development. When power and computing industry advances and challenges are considered together an opportunity emerges: Co-locating distributed data centers with renewable energy has the potential to improve economics, resilience, performance, and environmental impacts of both.
  • University of Texas at Austin    2008-2011
  • Royal Institute of Technology
  • University of Texas at Tyler   2006-2007
    • Tutor
    • Lab Proctor