Category: Carbon utilization

Now you can wash your clothes with recycled carbon emissions

Read the full story in Fast Company.

You might not know it, but you’re likely washing your clothes with ingredients made from fossil fuels But soon, you’ll be able to stop and do your laundry with a detergent made from recycled carbon emissions instead. While many surfactants—a key ingredient in detergents, which creates foam and allows dirt to be washed away—are derived from petroleum, a new laundry capsule from Unilever, which initially will be available in stores in China, uses surfactants made from captured industrial emissions.

The laundry capsules, available through the brand Omo and launching in China April 22, result from a partnership between Unilever, biotech company LanzaTech, and green chemical company India Glycols. LanzaTech, which has a commercial plant running in China that turns carbon emissions from a steel mill into ethanol, has already used its carbon recycling process to turn those emissions into jet fuel and alcohol for fragrances.

The Cleanie Awards® launches fourth awards season highlighting innovations in clean energy and climate tech

The Cleanie Awards® today announced that applications are open for its 2021 awards program. Now in its fourth year, The Cleanie Awards is the leading awards program recognizing the top innovators, thinkers, leaders, and disruptors driving America’s $500 billion clean-energy sector.

The program recognizes leaders dedicating their careers to helping avert the climate crisis — the individuals and organizations building a more just, equitable, reliable, resilient, and affordable clean energy economy. A judging panel comprised of industry leaders — representing sectors as diverse as finance, generation, agriculture, utilities, and mobility — will evaluate the entrants. New in 2021, The Cleanie Awards is adding two People’s Choice categories.

Companies and individuals can vie for recognition as:

  • Company of the Year
  • Best Corporate Sustainability Strategy
  • Best Journalist
  • Best Media Outlet (People’s Choice)
  • Champion in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Investment Leader of the Year
  • Keep the Power On
  • Pioneer in New Technology
  • Project of the Year (People’s Choice)
  • Rising Star
  • Trailblazer
  • Woman of the Year

Also new this year, The Cleanie Awards will recognize college-level leaders in College Excellence. This award, sponsored by REpowering Schools, will honor collegiate individuals and/or groups — who are making an impact in cleantech through coursework, capstone research projects, and competitions.

REpowering Schools is a 501c3 nonprofit that unites educators, renewable energy firms, and government initiatives to help buttress STEM education and build a diverse, sustainable renewable energy workforce of tomorrow. In support of this work, The Cleanie Awards is donating a share of this year’s proceeds to REpowering Schools.

“The clean-energy and climate-tech sectors are among the fastest growing areas of the U.S. economy — generating jobs, helping build a more resilient nation, and making crucial steps toward averting our climate crisis,” said Randee Gilmore, Executive Director, The Cleanie Awards.

“These awards shine a spotlight on the best ideas and most impactful leaders of the year — the people and organizations not only making a difference today, but helping build a healthier, more just, and more prosperous tomorrow. In addition to recognizing the achievements of our partners, we are excited to celebrate the next generation of our homegrown American workforce through College Excellence. This new category recognizes the next Rising Stars in cleantech.”

Previous years’ winners include Fortune 100 enterprises, fast-growing startups, pioneering individuals, and high-impact advocates — from ENGIE North America and Nextracker, to Enel, GE Power, Clearway Energy, and Point Load Power.

Early bird applications are open from April 22 to May 1, and regular submissions will be accepted until June 20.

Visit www.thecleanieawards.com to apply to this year’s program and for additional information, such as fees, deadlines, and sponsorship opportunities.

About The Cleanie Awards®

The Cleanie Awards is the only cleantech awards program focused exclusively on honoring innovators and disruptors who are creating market-moving solutions. The program’s mission is to influence public opinion about technologies working toward a clean energy future. For more information, visit the website at www.thecleanieawards.com. Follow The Cleanie Awards on Twitter or Facebook at @CleanieAwards and LinkedIn.

This fashion label is making clothes out of air pollution

Read the full story at Fast Company.

Pangaia is the first fashion label to print graphics using ink made out of toxic air pollution.

XPRIZE Announces the Two Winners of $20m NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, With Each Team Creating Valuable Products out of CO2 Emissions

XPRIZE, the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges, today announced that CarbonCure Technologies and CarbonBuilt have won the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, a prize that set out to convert CO2 emissions into valuable products.

Selected by a panel of independent judges, both winning teams developed solutions aimed at reducing CO2 emissions associated with traditional concrete, which is currently the world’s most abundant human-made material and accounts for seven percent of all global CO2 emissions. The two team’s award-winning technologies will be, and already are, game-changers for global decarbonization and the fight against climate change.

Launched in 2015, the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE was a five-year global competition developed to address rising CO2 emissions by challenging innovators around the world to develop breakthrough technologies that convert the most CO2 into products with the highest net value.

“The NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, its two winners, and the eight other finalists have developed breakthrough technologies that allow humanity to reimagine what is possible for the climate change fight,” said Anousheh Ansari, XPRIZE CEO. “Thanks to the vision laid out and supported by NRG, COSIA and many other partners, flipping CO2 emissions into valuable products is now a proven, successful strategy to build a better world.”

The competition included two tracks: the Wyoming track that focused on the conversion of emissions from a nearby coal-fired power plant, the Wyoming Integrated Test Center in Gillette, WY, and the Alberta track which used emissions from an adjacent natural gas-fired plant, the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre in Calgary, AB. The winning teams, one from each track, converted the most CO2 into products with the highest value, while minimizing their overall CO2 footprint, land use, water use, and energy use.

CarbonCure Technologies, the Alberta track winner from Canada, demonstrated a technology which enabled the production of concrete with a reduced water and carbon footprint without sacrifice to the material’s reliability. Utilizing CarbonCure Technologies’ system, a precise dosage of CO2 is injected into a concrete plant’s reclaimer system, which contains the water used to wash out concrete trucks and mixers. The CO2 is converted to a permanently embedded mineral with strength-enhancing properties which can then be incorporated into new concrete mixes. By reducing the amount of new freshwater, solid waste disposal and cement required, the team, which is backed by Bill Gates’ fund Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Amazon Climate Pledge Fund, BDC Capital and others, is able to reduce the material costs and increase profitability for concrete producers.

“I’m incredibly proud of Team CarbonCure’s hard work, dedication, and ingenuity that contributed to our win. The prize winnings will accelerate our path to achieve our company mission of reducing 500 megatonnes of CO2 emissions annually by 2030,” said Jennifer Wagner, president of CarbonCure and team lead for the competition. “Technology alone will not get us to our net-zero emissions targets — concrete producers, the wider construction community, and policymakers are important allies on our journey to decarbonize the concrete industry.”

The Los Angeles-based Wyoming track winner, UCLA CarbonBuilt, developed technology that reduces the carbon footprint of concrete by more than 50 percent while reducing raw material costs and increasing profitability. The CarbonBuilt concrete formulation significantly decreases the need for ordinary Portland cement while enabling the increased use of low-cost waste materials. During the curing process, CO2 is directly injected from flue gas streams (like power plants or cement factories) into the concrete mixture where it is chemically transformed and permanently stored. Development began at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering in 2014 with support from the NRG COSIA CARBON XPRIZE, philanthropic foundations, private and corporate sponsors, as well as government agencies including the U.S. Department of Energy.

“I am absolutely thrilled that UCLA CarbonBuilt has won the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE,” said Gaurav N. Sant, professor of civil and environmental engineering and of materials science and engineering at UCLA Samueli. “As a third-generation civil engineer, I have been fascinated with the role that construction has played in solving societal challenges. To have spent the last decade finding a solution to mitigate the carbon footprint of concrete construction with a phenomenal team, and to have won the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, doing so is an ultimate dream come true,” shared Sant, who is also the director of the UCLA Institute for Carbon Management and founder of CarbonBuilt, Inc., a private company set up to commercialize the pioneering CO2 utilization technology.

“Concrete is one of the world’s most abundant materials, and a crucial frontier in the fight against climate change. The production of Portland cement, the key ingredient that binds concrete and gives it its strength, accounts for approximately seven percent of global CO2 emissions,” says Marcius Extavour, vice president of climate and energy at XPRIZE. “Concrete is also a material that can be readily made using CO2 as an input, which the winning teams have demonstrated really clearly. Now, deploying their technology to avoid and reduce emissions from heavy industry will be a gamechanger for global decarbonization in the fight against climate change.”

Additionally, the USD $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE awarded X-Factor awards to Carbon Upcycling-NLT and Carbon Corp, two finalists that created excellent products and compelling demonstrations that deserved recognition. Carbon Upcycling-NLT, based in Calgary, produces nanoparticles with applications in various industries, particularly concrete, construction and plastics. Carbon Corp, who relocated from the USA to Calgary, transforms CO2 into carbon nanotubes, with applications such as lightweight, ultra-strong and cost-effective replacements for metals; stronger cement-composite building materials; and expanding applications in industrial catalysis, batteries, and nanoelectronics.

“Combating climate change is one of the most important challenges we face–requiring us to rethink, reimagine, and embrace new ideas,” said Jeanne-Mey Sun, NRG vice president, sustainability. “Competitions, such as the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, are opportunities to bring innovators together to develop solutions for the monumental task of decarbonizing our economy. As we recognize today’s winners, we celebrate all of the teams’ hard work and perseverance in this new era in carbon technology.”

“Through COSIA, Canada’s oil sands industry has been proud to support this initiative which has proven that capturing CO2 emissions from natural gas and coal combustion and converting such into usable products can be a game-changer in broader emissions reduction efforts. With breakthrough technologies like these, we can tackle the major causes of climate change while also responsibly meeting global energy demand,” says Wes Jickling, chief executive of COSIA. “As one of many projects underway within COSIA, the competition is a shining example of how innovative cleantech can transform our world. Our hats are off to all the competitors, and we congratulate the winners.”

“Congratulations to XPRIZE winner, CarbonBuilt. The research they’re doing at the Integrated Test Center proves Wyoming is leading the way on carbon capture and utilization,” said U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY). “Last summer, I saw their groundbreaking work firsthand, as they transformed captured carbon dioxide into concrete. CarbonBuilt’s technology will help create new markets and jobs in Wyoming and across the country, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Congratulations to CarbonCure who’s already transforming the concrete industry, and to the rest of the contestants in advancing a carbon-tech sector full of opportunity. It has been a privilege for the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre to host the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE”, says Laura Kilcrease, CEO of Alberta Innovates. “The ACCTC is open for business and we welcome new technology developers to experience the ACCTC as they blaze paths to a net zero future.”

Each grand prize winner will be awarded a USD $7.5 million prize purse and will receive their winnings within 60 days. Those interested in learning more can do so at carbon.xprize.org

About XPRIZE

XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. Active competitions include the $20 Million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $10 Million Rainforest XPRIZE, the $10 Million ANA Avatar XPRIZE, the $5 Million IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, $5 Million XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling, $5 Million XPRIZE Rapid COVID Testing, and $500K Pandemic Response Challenge. For more information, visit xprize.org.

About NRG

NRG is the leading integrated power company in the U.S., built on the strength of our diverse competitive electric generation portfolio and leading retail electricity platform. A Fortune 500 company, NRG creates value through best in class operations, reliable and efficient electric generation, and a retail platform serving residential and commercial businesses. Working with electricity customers, large and small, we implement sustainable solutions for producing and managing energy, developing smarter energy choices and delivering exceptional service as our retail electricity providers serve almost three million residential and commercial customers throughout the country. More information is available at www.nrg.com. Connect with NRG Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @nrgenergy.

About COSIA

Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) is a unique alliance of oil sands producers focused on accelerating environmental performance in Canada’s oil sands. COSIA enables collaboration and innovation between big thinkers from industry, government, academia and the wider public to improve measurement, accountability and performance in the oil sands across our environmental priority areas of greenhouse gases, land, water and tailings. COSIA members search the world for solutions to our toughest problems. And we have some of the best minds on the planet working on technologies to enable responsible and sustainable development. To date, COSIA has shared over 1,025 distinct environmental technologies and innovations that cost over $1.6 billion to develop. Visit COSIA at www.cosia.ca. Follow us on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

About Alberta Innovates

Alberta Innovates is the province’s largest and Canada’s first public research and innovation organization. For a century we have worked closely with the researchers, companies and entrepreneurs who built Alberta’s industries and strengthened communities. Today we are pivoting to the next frontier of opportunity in Alberta and worldwide, driven by emerging technologies across sectors. We provide seed funding, business advice, applied research and technical services, along with avenues for partnership and collaboration. Learn how Alberta Innovates.

Contacts

Caden Kinard, XPRIZE
caden.kinard@xprize.org

Twelve Climate Innovators Chosen as 2021 BNEF Pioneers

BloombergNEF (BNEF) has announced the twelve winners of the 2021 BNEF Pioneers – early-stage companies that are pursuing exciting and important low-carbon opportunities. The winners were selected as their innovations fill important gaps in optimizing long-haul freight, making sustainable materials, tracking greenhouse gases, valuing carbon sinks and reducing energy and chemical use.

Since the inception of the BNEF Pioneers program more than a decade ago, cheap, clean technologies such as renewable energy and electric vehicles have changed the world. Although these technologies will decarbonize large parts of the world economy, there are still significant challenges to address in achieving net-zero emissions and slowing climate change. The 2020s will arguably be an even more pivotal decade in the fight against climate change, and the Pioneers competition this year has recognized transformative technology solutions filling some remaining net-zero innovation gaps. In 2021, we solicited applications from companies, non-profits and projects that addressed three climate-tech innovation areas:

  • Managing and optimizing long-haul freight
  • Advancing materials and techniques for sustainable products
  • Monitoring and understanding our changing planet

The competition received over 250 applications from 36 different countries. A team of lead analysts at BNEF evaluated candidates against three criteria: the potential impact on greenhouse gas emissions and the planet; the degree of technology innovation and novelty; and the likelihood of adoption.

The 2021 BNEF Pioneers are:

Challenge 1: Managing and optimizing long-haul freight

  • Convoy (U.S.) provides a digital freight network and moves thousands of truckloads around the United States each day through its optimized connected network of carriers, saving money for shippers and eliminating carbon waste.
  • Nautilus Labs (U.S.) advances the efficiency of ocean commerce through artificial intelligence. It provides a predictive decision-support solution that drives sustainability and profitability in global maritime shipping.
  • Ontruck (Spain) is a digital transportation company that combines automation and machine learning to drive out waste in the logistics process. Ontruck offers an efficient and low-carbon solution to move freight, helping shippers to reduce transportation costs, increasing earnings for carriers, and removing carbon emissions generated from empty trucks.

Challenge 2: Advancing materials and techniques for sustainable products

  • Cemvita Factory (U.S.) engineers microbes that use carbon dioxide or methane as a feedstock for the production of carbon-negative industrial chemicals. These chemicals are used by oil and gas, chemical, mining and aerospace companies that seek to apply nature-inspired technologies for reducing their carbon footprint.
  • Pyrowave (Canada) electrifies chemical processes in the circular economy of plastics. Pyrowave uses microwave technology to supply the chemical industry with recycled raw materials that are drop-in substitutes for virgin chemicals.
  • Via Separations (U.S.) targets U.S. energy consumption that is wasted each year through the process of separating chemicals, by electrifying energy-intensive steps in chemical production.

Challenge 3: Monitoring and understanding our changing planet

  • Pachama (U.S.) uses machine learning with satellite imaging to measure carbon captured in forests. Pachama brings the latest technology in remote sensing, satellite imaging and AI to the world of forest carbon in order to enable forest conservation and restoration at scale.
  • Planet (U.S.) provides global, daily satellite imagery and geospatial solutions to better manage risk across various sectors, such as agriculture, forestry, energy and natural resources.
  • QLM Technology (U.K.) offers its quantum technology to provide an understanding of greenhouse gas emissions in an affordable, accurate, scalable way using camera systems that visualize and quantify emissions as they occur.

Wildcards:

  • 75F (U.S.) is an IoT-based building management system using smart sensors and controls to make commercial buildings more efficient, comfortable and healthier.
  • ECOncrete (Israel) provides technology for coastal and marine infrastructure – increasing concrete strength and durability, while creating ecological value and an active carbon sink.
  • Pivot Bio (U.S.) makes nitrogen-producing microbial products that can replace the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer for cereal crops, giving farmers a crop nutrition solution to achieve more consistent yields and improve air and water quality.

Claire Curry, selection committee co-chair and head of digital industry research at BloombergNEF, commented:

“This year we selected three specific areas – heavy-duty transport, materials and the climate – where BNEF believes technology must play an important role in decarbonization. For the last decade, the BNEF Pioneers award has been essential in highlighting exciting innovations in solar, wind, storage, smart grid and electric vehicles, to name a few. By focusing on specific themes each year where technology innovation is sorely needed, we hope that the competition will continue to shine a light on important, pioneering innovations.

“We had some particularly strong applicants, making it both fun and challenging to select the winners. We have chosen nine winners across the three main challenge categories that we believe highlight some important innovation gaps in transportation, materials and climate. While much transport will electrify or turn to green hydrogen, the heavy-duty goods sector will continue burning fossil fuels for years to come. This makes optimizing route planning, reducing idle time and eliminating empty miles truly essential in the near-term. Our winners Convoy, Ontruck and Nautilus Labs are leading the charge in tackling these problems.

“Displacing petrochemicals from everyday products will be a difficult task, even after we are no longer burning oil as a fuel. Displacing petrochemical feedstock with biomass, or even with added carbon dioxide, will create carbon sinks, trapping CO2 in plastics, fabrics and chemicals. Our winner Cemvita Factory is looking to do just this. Sustainability issues in the petrochemicals sector include inefficient, energy-intense, manufacturing processes and poor recycling options, which our winners Via Separations and Pyrowave are looking to solve respectively.

“Finally, to truly address climate change we need to understand a lot more about our planet, track emissions more closely and quantify the natural carbon sinks in forests, seas and land. Our winners for the third challenge category are all using different technologies, including hardware and software combinations, to track our changing planet from the sky (Planet), to spot industrial emissions on the ground (QLM Technologies) and to quantify our valuable carbon sinks (Pachama).

“Alongside the three key challenge areas we also picked three wildcard winners – innovations that did not fit in the selected challenge areas but are each pioneering and unique in their own way. I’m excited to see the future impact on marine life of ECOncrete’s coastal infrastructure invention; the significant emissions impact that 75F will make on commercial buildings; and the exciting future of sustainable agriculture that Pivot Bio is swiftly building with its microbial fertilizer.”

Video interviews with each of the Pioneers will be posted once per week on the BNEF website at https://about.bnef.com/bnefpioneers/ starting in the second half of May.

Read more about the winners.

Webinar: Beneficial Re-use of Industrial CO2 Emissions Using Microalgae

Apr 8, 2021, noon-1 pm CDT
Register here.

Abstract: Carbon dioxide utilization through algal biomass production has undergone extensive research, mainly focusing on the replacement of traditional petroleum fuels. However, achieving economic viability for algae-based fuels has proven difficult due to their low value and comparatively high production costs. Consequently, the algae industry is experiencing a shift in focus from fuels towards more valuable products, including nutraceuticals, specialty chemicals and human food additives. Unfortunately, these higher value products tend to have very limited markets, which have the potential to saturate when scaling algae production facilities to multi-acre scales. Bioplastics derived from algal biomass offer a potential means of solving these problems. Algae-based bioplastics represent a drop-in replacement for many everyday products, including flexible foams, synthetic fibers, food packaging films and even 3-D printing filament. As proteins are the most desirable component of the algal biomass in bioplastic production, fuel production methods based on lipid extraction can in principal be employed to improve the bioplastic quality (and thus value) while producing a useful fuel co-product.

This seminar will summarize our work, initiated in 2009, aimed at algae cultivation using flue gas from coal-fired power plants as the CO2 source. The results of techno-economic and life cycle analyses will also be presented, conducted to assess the economic viability and environmental impact of an algae biorefinery that integrates the complementary functions of bioplastic feedstock and fuel production.

Biography: Mark Crocker received BSc. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and spent two years as a NATO Research Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Thereafter he spent 15 years working in industry, first for Shell Research in Amsterdam and then for Degussa’s automotive catalyst division in Michigan, USA. In 2003 he moved to the University of Kentucky (UK) where he is currently a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and an Associate Director of the Center for Applied Energy Research. At UK he leads a research group focusing on CO2 recycling using microalgae, biofuels and environmental catalysis.

This seminar is a certified green event by the University of Illinois’ University of Illinois’ Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment.

Concrete from Halifax startup used in new Amazon HQ cuts emissions, attracts high-profile financing

Read the full story in the Globe & Mail.

As Amazon.com Inc. builds its massive second headquarters in Virginia, the company is using concrete strengthened by one of the most quietly successful startups from Canada’s East Coast.

CarbonCure Technologies Inc. has honed its techniques for injecting carbon dioxide into concrete for more than a dozen years. The process adds enough strength to the building material to cut the amount needed for a project by about 5 per cent. Doing so also significantly reduces the environmental impact of using concrete: For every tonne of carbon dioxide injected, the Halifax company says it can save about 40 tonnes of emissions.

DOE Announces $8 Million for Projects to Develop Algae-Based CO2 Utilization

Applications due March 2.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has announced plans to make $8 million in Federal funding available for cost-shared research, development, and testing of technologies that can utilize carbon dioxide (CO2) from power systems or other industrial sources for bio-mediated uptake by algal systems to create valuable products and services.

Funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002403, Engineering-Scale Testing and Validation of Algae-Based Technologies and Bioproducts, will support the goals of DOE’s Carbon Utilization Program. The primary objective of carbon utilization technology development is to lower the near-term cost of carbon capture through the creation of value-added products from the conversion of carbon dioxide.

The intent of the FOA is to seek applications that aim to perform engineering-scale testing and validation of algae-based technologies and bioproducts. Technologies that convert CO2 must show a net decrease in CO2 emissions through life cycle analysis, display a potential to generate a marketable product and show that the product displays beneficial aspects when compared to commercially available products produced with existing state-of-the-art technology.

Applications may be sought and accepted under a second closing date contingent upon the availability of appropriated funds and need.

More information on this notice of intent can be found here.

The Office of Fossil Energy funds research and development projects to reduce the cost of advanced fossil energy technologies and further the sustainable use of the nation’s fossil resources. To learn more about the programs within the Office of Fossil Energy, visit the Office of Fossil Energy website or sign up for FE news announcements. More information about the National Energy Technology Laboratory is available on the NETL website.

WEbinar: Beneficial Re-use of Industrial CO2 Emissions Using Microalgae

Feb 11, 2021 noon-1pm CST
Register here.

Abstract: Carbon dioxide utilization through algal biomass production has undergone extensive research, mainly focusing on the replacement of traditional petroleum fuels. However, achieving economic viability for algae-based fuels has proven difficult due to their low value and comparatively high production costs. Consequently, the algae industry is experiencing a shift in focus from fuels towards more valuable products, including nutraceuticals, specialty chemicals and human food additives. Unfortunately, these higher value products tend to have very limited markets, which have the potential to saturate when scaling algae production facilities to multi-acre scales. Bioplastics derived from algal biomass offer a potential means of solving these problems. Algae-based bioplastics represent a drop-in replacement for many everyday products, including flexible foams, synthetic fibers, food packaging films and even 3-D printing filament. As proteins are the most desirable component of the algal biomass in bioplastic production, fuel production methods based on lipid extraction can in principal be employed to improve the bioplastic quality (and thus value) while producing a useful fuel co-product.

This seminar will summarize our work, initiated in 2009, aimed at algae cultivation using flue gas from coal-fired power plants as the CO2 source. The results of techno-economic and life cycle analyses will also be presented, conducted to assess the economic viability and environmental impact of an algae biorefinery that integrates the complementary functions of bioplastic feedstock and fuel production.

Biography: Mark Crocker received BSc. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and spent two years as a NATO Research Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Thereafter he spent 15 years working in industry, first for Shell Research in Amsterdam and then for Degussa’s automotive catalyst division in Michigan, USA. In 2003 he moved to the University of Kentucky (UK) where he is currently a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and an Associate Director of the Center for Applied Energy Research. At UK he leads a research group focusing on CO2 recycling using microalgae, biofuels and environmental catalysis.

This seminar is a certified green event by the University of Illinois’ University of Illinois’ Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment.

New process more efficiently recycles excess CO2 into fuel, study finds

Read the full story from the University of Illinois.

For years, researchers have worked to repurpose excess atmospheric carbon dioxide into new chemicals, fuels and other products traditionally made from hydrocarbons harvested from fossil fuels. The recent push to mitigate the climactic effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has chemists on their toes to find the most efficient means possible. A new study introduces an electrochemical reaction, enhanced by polymers, to improve CO2-to-ethylene conversion efficiency over previous attempts.  

The results of the study led by University of Illinois Urbana Champaign chemistry professor Andrew Gewirth and graduate student Xinyi (Stephanie) Chen are published in the journal Nature Catalysis.

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