For the second year, Forbes has released its annual "30 Under 30" list, highlighting the best and the brightest young minds spanning different sectors who are ready to change the world. Forbes editors and reporters worked with panels of expert judges to choose the field’s preeminent stars under the age of 30 for each category, ranging from energy to Hollywood.  

This year's list of Energy 30 Under 30 shows the range of innovators and entrepreneurs, striving the change the face of energy as we know it. Included on this list were three of our competitors from the 2012 Competition: Qichoa Hu (SolidEnergy Systems), Yaniv Scherson (Stanford Nitrogen Group), and Chris Wilmer (NuMat Technologies).  The Business Plan Competition team congratulates these three young entrepreneurs for all of their success and we hope that the Competition continues to attract the country's best young entrepreneurs. 

Qichao Hu (SolidEnergy Systems) 

Qichao Hu was a member of the SolidEnergy Systems team, the winning team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, took home the DOE prize from the 2012 Rice University Business Plan Competition. SolidEnergy won for its innovation which improves the safety and energy density of rechargeable lithium batteries. Its battery technology is intended to help speed up the deployment of electric vehicles and be a game-changer in the oil drilling industry.

From Forbes: While working in the lab of renowned MIT prof. Donald Sadoway, Hu developed a polymer ionic liquid (PIL) rechargeable lithium metal battery that can operate at room temperature and manufactured in a variety of shapes. He has said that PIL batteries will be safer, smaller and can hold twice as much energy than lithium ion.

Yaniv Scherson (Stanford Nitrogen Group)

Yaniv Scherson was a member of the Stanford Nitrogen Group team that won the California Institute of Technology First Look West (FLoW) competition for its new wastewater treatment process for the removal and recovery of energy from reactive nitrogen (i.e. ammonia). Currently, wastewater treatment is very energy inefficient and undergoing increasingly stringent nitrogen discharge regulation. In the U.S., wastewater treatment is often the highest energy expenditure of municipalities. Stanford Nitrogen Group's process, termed the Coupled Aerobic-anoxic Nitrous Decomposition Operation (CANDO), significantly improves the efficiency and lowers the cost of N-treatment and appears to be the first wastewater treatment process to recover energy from waste nitrogen.

From Forbes: Developed at Stanford University, Scherson's process creates power from sewage plants by capturing ammonia from the treatment process, converting it to nitrous oxide, then burning it to generate electricity. A pilot plant is operating in Oakland, Calif.

Chris Wilmer (NuMat Technologies)

Chris Wilmer was a team member of NuMat Technologies from Northwestern University, which won the Clean Energy Trust's Clean Energy Challenge as well as the Grand Prize at the 2012 U.S. Department of Energy National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition. NuMat Technologies won for inventing a nanomaterial that can store gases just like a sponge soaks up water. One potential application is for natural-gas tanks used in motor vehicles. The material stores gases at lower pressure and thereby reduces infrastructure costs and increases design flexibility, which allows tanks to be designed around current automobile underpinnings.

From Forbes: With colleagues at Northwestern, invented algorithm to find and synthesize highly porous nanomaterials, 300 of which show the ability to store more natural gas than any other known material. This has huge implications for creating fuel tanks for natgas-powered vehicles. NuMat has received $1 million in funding so far.