Upcoming Events:

Scientific Evidence that Demands a Verdict: Our Changing Climate

Speaker: Prof. Jeffrey A Reimer
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
University of California at Berkeley

When: Monday, November 18, 2019 12:00 PM1:30 PM
Where: Mudd Hall, 500 W. 120 St., New York, NY 10027
EE Conference Room, 13th Floor

Many students and colleagues in education are aware of climate change only via public discourse and social media. Drawing on recent scientific papers organized for a course I teach at Berkeley, I will show how the atmosphere is changing, that humans are the cause, and that there are consequences. These consequences may be viewed in the context of Earth’s historical carbon cycles. These historical cycles demonstrate well what the Earth will look like unless we consider every possible means to decarbonize the atmosphere. I am particularly keen on carbon capture and sequestration and will end by showing that carbon capture is becoming increasingly feasible.
Jeffrey A. Reimer received his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology. Prior to his faculty appointment at UC Berkeley he was a postdoctoral fellow at IBM Research in Yorktown Heights, New York. He is presently the C. Judson King Endowed Professor and Warren and Katharine Schlinger Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department. Professor Reimer’s scholarship is in the fields of materials chemistry and engineering, with particular attention to the application of sophisticated NMR spectroscopic and physical measurements. He is Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the American Physical Society in the Division of Materials Physics, a Fellow of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance, and received a Humboldt Research Award in 2015-16. He has won several prizes and teaching awards and published more than 200 research papers and two textbooks.

Past Events:

The STEMM-CCS CO2 release experiment: Monitoring and quantification of CO2 leakage in the marine environment

Speaker: Prof. Juerg M. Matter

Associate Professor in Geoengineering at the University of Southampton, UK

When: Thursday, October 24, 2019 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Where: Mudd Hall, 500 W. 120 St., New York, NY 10027
924 Project Room


Carbon capture and storage in geologic reservoir is a key technology to mitigate climate change. In order for geological CO2 storage to be safe and reliable, strategies for CO2 leak detection and quantification are crucial. STEMM-CCS (Strategies for Environmental Monitoring of Marine Carbon Capture and Storage) is an interdisciplinary project that explores monitoring strategies for the offshore, sub-seabed storage of CO2. A controlled CO2 release experiment was completed in May 2019 in the central North Sea, whereby CO2 gas was injected into shallow marine sediments at different rates. A set of non-toxic tracer gases (octafluoropropane (C3F8), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and krypton (Kr)) were co-injected to detect CO2 leakage and CO2 dissolution in the pore water and water column. AUV, ROV and sensors on moorings and landers were used to collect samples and to monitor changes in the marine environment. First results on the performance of this newly applied tracer monitoring approach from this unique experiments in the North Sea will be presented.


Juerg M. Matter is Associate Professor in Geoengineering at the University of Southampton, UK since spring 2013. Matter was previously an Associate Research Professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, New York. Matter studies the physical and geochemical processes of gas-water-rock reactions. He has worked on the geochemical and isotopic characterization of groundwater systems applying field techniques and numerical simulations. His primary focus now is on geologic carbon capture and storage. Matter has made fundamental advances in understanding permanent carbon storage in unconventional geologic reservoirs, such as basaltic rocks and mantle peridotites. He also develops new tracer techniques for monitoring and accounting of CO2 transport, reactivity and storage in geologic systems. He received his MSci and PhD from ETH-Zurich in Switzerland.
Event Contact Information:

When: Monday, October 09, 2017, 3:00-4:00pm
Where: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Mudd Building, Room 826
Speaker: Prof. Jihan Kim Associate Professor at KAIST

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.  

Title: Thousands and Thousands of Metal-Organic Frameworks: Too Many or Not Enough?


In the past decade, there has been an explosion in the number of newly synthesized metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), with the total number surpassing 20,000 structures.  However, most of these MOFs are neglected after the development of another MOF material that surpasses their performance in a given application field.  As such, it is interesting to contemplate upon whether or not the field as a whole need such a large number of materials.  In this talk I will show that from a computational researcher’s point of view, the current number is actually insufficient.  I will talk about ways in which we manipulate MOFs in silico, such that they possess completely different properties than what was intended for the original structures, thus opening up new ways to recycle these old MOFs using computational simulations.


Prof. Jihan Kim is an Associate Professor at KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.  He received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) from UC Berkeley in 2001 and M.S. (2004) and Ph.D. degrees (2009) in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with his dissertation work focused on conducting quantum dot simulations for quantum computing applications.  He spent 4 years as a postdoctoral researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories for Prof. Berend Smit, where he worked on writing software code and running large-scale simulations to identify optimal materials for CO2 capture and methane storage applications. His main research interest focuses on multi-scale (quantum and classical) modeling nanoporous materials and developing new computational methods that can lead the experimental research for materials discovery.

The Outlook for Lower-Cost Carbon Capture and Storage for Climate Change Mitigation

When: Friday, April 28, 2017, 10:10-11:25am
Where: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Mudd Building, Room 833
Speaker: Dr. Ed Rubin, Alumni Chair Professor of Environmental Engineering and Science, Carnegie Mellon University

Ed Rubin Slides – The Outlook for Lower-Cost Carbon Capture and Storage for Climate Change Mitigation

Studies show that capture and storage (CCS) is a potentially critical technology for achieving climate change mitigation goals at the lowest cost to society. However, the relatively high cost of current CCS systems is a barrier to its entry into key sectors, especially the electric power industry. Thus, a major goal of energy technology R&D programs worldwide is to lower the cost of CCS. Toward that end, a variety of advanced processes and technologies for CO2 capture have been proposed or are under development. This talk will briefly review the current landscape of current and proposed CCS options for power plant (and other) applications, along with cost estimates for such systems. A review of the methods used to estimate the cost of advanced technologies concludes that such estimates are often biased and potentially misleading. An approach for improving cost projection methods for advanced technologies is proposed.

“Reaction of CO2 with strained heterocycles” CO2 to cyclic carbonates, CO2 and aziridines to oxazolidinones

Prof. Michael North

Department of Chemistry, University of York in UK

Over 90% of all commercially available organic chemicals are sourced from crude oil. This is unsustainable and a major challenge for chemists in the coming decades will be wean the chemicals industry off its addiction to crude oil and onto renewable, sustainable starting materials. In addition, whilst catalysis is often seen as a green technology, many current catalytic processes rely on metals such as rhodium, iridium and platinum which are themselves of limited and decreasing availability. Our interest focusses on a number of aspects of making organic chemistry sustainable. Our approach is based on obtaining a thorough understanding of chemical processes by a combination of spectroscopic and mechanistic studies to allow mechanism led optimizations to be carried out which improve both the chemical effectiveness and the sustainability of a process.

CO2 as a chemical feedstock

Carbon dioxide is a potential alternative source of carbon for the chemicals industry. It is already used for example in the synthesis of urea (fertilizer), salicylic acid (Aspirin precursor) and methanol. The challenge to increasing the future use of CO2 as a chemical feedstock is largely one of developing catalysts to allow transformations to occur at or near room temperature and atmospheric pressure. We have been interested in the 100% atom economical reaction between epoxides and CO2 to form cyclic carbonates and have developed aluminium based catalysts which allow this reaction to occur at room temperature in batch reactions or at 100 oC using immobilised catalysts in a gas phase flow reactor.

Artificial and Bionic Leaf: A Sustainable and Renewable Cycle for Producing Food and Fuels

Date: April 12, 2019
Time: 10:10am – 11:25am
Location: 209 Havenmeyer
Speaker: Daniel G. Nocera
Harvard University
Abstract: Hybrid biological | inorganic (HBI) constructs have been created to use sunlight, air and water as the only starting materials to accomplish carbon and nitrogen fixation, thus enabling distributed and renewable fuels and crop production. The carbon and nitrogen fixation cycles begin with the artificial leaf, which was invented to accomplish the solar fuels process of natural photosynthesis – the splitting of water to hydrogen and oxygen using sunlight – under ambient conditions. To create the artificial leaf, an oxygen evolving complex of Photosystem II was mimicked, the most important property of which was the self-healing nature of the catalyst. Self-healing catalysts permit water splitting to be accomplished using any water source—which is the critical development for: (1) the artificial leaf, as it allows for the facile interfacing of water splitting catalysis to materials such as silicon and (2) the bionic leaf, as it allows for the facile interfacing of water splitting catalysis to bioorganisms. For the latter, using the tools of synthetic biology, a bio-engineered bacterium has been developed to convert carbon dioxide from air, along with the hydrogen produced from the catalysts of the artificial leaf, into biomass and liquid fuels, thus closing an entire artificial photosynthetic cycle. The HBI, called the bionic leaf, operates at unprecedented solar-to-biomass (10.7%) and solar-to-liquid fuels (6.2%) yields, greatly exceeding the 1% yield of natural photosynthesis. Extending this approach, a renewable and distributed synthesis of fertilizer at ambient conditions has been created by coupling solar-based water splitting to a nitrogen fixing bioorganism. Nitrogen is fixed to ammonia by using the hydrogen produced from water splitting to power nitrogenase. The ammonia produced by the nitrogenase can be diverted from biomass formation to extracellular production with the addition of an inhibitor. The nitrogen reduction reaction proceeds at high turnover per cell and operates without the need for a carbon feedstock (other than the CO2 provided from air). This nitrogen fixing HBI can be powered by distributed renewable electricity, enabling carbon negative and sustainable crop production. The science that will be presented will show that using only sunlight, air and water, a distributed system may be established to produce fuel (carbon neutral) and food (carbon negative). Such science is particularly useful to the poor of the world, where large infrastructures for fuel and food production are not tenable.
Bio: Daniel G. Nocera is the Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy at Harvard University. Widely recognized in the world as a leading researcher in renewable energy, he is the inventor of the artificial leaf and bionic leaf. Nocera has accomplished the solar fuels process of photosynthesis – the splitting of water to hydrogen and oxygen using light from neutral water, at atmospheric pressure and room temperature at efficiencies of greater than 10%. This discovery, called artificial leaf, was named by Time magazine as Innovation of the Year for 2011. He has since elaborated this invention to accomplish a complete artificial photosynthetic cycle. To do so, he created the bionic leaf, which is a bio-engineered bacterium that uses the hydrogen from that artificial leaf and carbon dioxide from air to make biomass and liquid fuels. The bionic leaf, which was named by the World Economic Forum as the Breakthrough Technology for 2017, performs an artificial photosynthesis that is ten times more efficient than natural photosynthesis. Extending this approach, Nocera has achieved a renewable and distributed synthesis of ammonia (and fertilizer) at ambient conditions by coupling solar-based water splitting to a nitrogen fixing bioorganism, which is powered by the hydrogen produced from water splitting. These science discoveries set the stage for a storage mechanism for the large scale, distributed, deployment of solar energy and distributed food production and thus are particularly useful to the poor of the world, where large infrastructures for fuel and food production are not tenable.

What does that hairy stuff do? Role of surface ligands in the growth and assembly of semiconductor nanorods.

Presented by Doh C. Lee
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
Friday, February 15, 2019 at 4:00pm
Room 209 Havemeyer
Hosted by Chemical Engineering
Abstract: In the colloidal growth of semiconductor nanocrystals, capping ligands have been known to confer three advantages: (i) passivation of surface dangling bonds; (ii) controlled NR growth during reaction; and (iii) solution processable products. In the case of nanorods (NRs), surface ligands serve not only as a protection layer but also result in anisotropic growth kinetics. In this presentation, I will discuss my group’s recent experimental results relevant to the role of ligands in growth and assembly of cadmium chalcogenide NRs.
We have investigated diffusion of active species monomers through ligand layers using CdSe NRs as a model system. Colloidal NRs are of special interest for optoelectronic applications because its shape anisotropy leads to unique optical and physical characteristics, expandable with morphological and structural deviation. Previous studies focused on the development of diverse NR structures. However, synthesis relied on empirical observations under specific conditions, and general NR growth process remained elusive. I present a new answer for detailed growth mechanism of colloidal semiconductor NRs. For this, we developed dual-diameter nanorod (DDNR) structure via colloidal synthesis, where two sections along the long axis in each NR have different diameters at a few nanometer scale. The vivid segmentation offers an ideal platform for monitoring the growth process of NRs, presenting important determinants in the reactivity of distinguishable NR facets. By controlling the discovered factors, single-diameter NRs with controllable core position also became available. I will put the findings in perspective by outlining the effect of diffusion of monomers and surface growth reactions.
In addition, we observed that density of surface ligands alters the colloidal interaction between nanorods, ultimately affecting the way NRs assemble during the film deposition process. Assembly of CdSe/CdS core/shell NRs results in various ordered structures in the presence of free oleic acid molecules. Electron microscopy and X-ray scattering data suggest that the assembly is initiated at the air-dispersion interface due to the preferential depletion attraction of NR sidewall to the interface. Interestingly, subsequent growth of superstructures depends heavily on the ligand density that determines the relative magnitude of interface-NR depletion attraction to inter-NR attraction. Highly ordered structures of NRs, especially for the monolayer smectic-phase, are promising as a polarizable emissive layer for optical devices. I will discuss the implication of the growth and assembly of NRs in the context of design of high-efficiency light emitting devices based on QDs.

Multiscale Modeling Approach for Energy Materials in Materials Science and Engineering: Computational NanoBio Technology

Prof. Seung Soon Jang
School of Materials Science and Engineering,
Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Friday February 1st, 2019
10 am – 11:15 am
Location: 209 Havemeyer
Abstract: Up to now, computational methods in chemistry and physics have been rapidly developed and matured, which make them useful tools in various fields of materials science. In this presentation, I will discuss about how the multiscale modeling methods consisting of quantum mechanics, molecular dynamics and mesoscale simulation methods, can make contributions to understanding given nanoscale systems and designing new systems. In the first part, I will present our recent progress for energy technologies such as fuel cell, battery, and solar cell, in which the nanometer-scale structures are modeled to understand/predict the atomistic-molecular mechanisms for various properties of interest, namely, ionic transport and redox potential via multiscale modeling. In the second part, I will also present modeling studies for various molecular assemblies such as block copolymer micelle, collagen self-assembly and so on. Here we will focus on how the nanometer-scale structures affect the properties of materials, especially the transport of small molecular species through the systems in order to accomplish desirable processes. Once the computational prediction is validated via comparing with experiment, the structure-property relationship can serve in designing new materials for better properties. In the last part of my talk, I will discuss the potential of machine learning briefly for high-throughput screening. The bottom line of my talk is that multiscale modeling methods can help achieve fundamental understanding of the nanoscale systems and establish design guide for new material development based on the structure-property relationship.
Bio: Short Bio: Prof. Seung Soon Jang obtained his B.S. (1992), M.S. (1994), and Ph.D. (1999) in Seoul National University, Korea. After his education, Dr. Jang worked at Samsung Electronics for two years as a senior engineer, and then joined the Materials and Process Simulation Center (MSC) of California Institute of Technology as a postdoc and then became research director. Dr. Jang joined the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in July 2007 as an assistant professor and was promoted to a tenured associate professor in 2013. His research interest is to investigate various nanoscale systems using the multiscale modeling methods to achieve molecular architecture-nanoscale structure-property relationship, which makes fundamental improvement in new material development for various applications. So far, he has made more than 100 peerreviewed journal publications and more than 60 invited presentations for various topics.

Graphene Oxide Liquid Crystal: A novel category of graphene based soft matter

Prof. Sang Ouk Kim
KAIST Chair Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering Friday January 25th 2019 at 4PM
826 Mudd
Abstract: Graphene Oxide Liquid Crystal (GOLC) is a newly emerging graphene based material, which exhibits nematic type colloidal discotic liquid crystallinity with the orientational ordering of graphene oxide flakes in good solvents, including water. Since our first discovery of GOLC in aqueous dispersion, this interesting mesophase has been utilized over world-wide for many different application fields, such as liquid crystalline graphene fiber spinning, highly ordered graphene membrane/ film production, prototype liquid crystal display and so on. Interestingly, GOLC also allow us a valuable opportunity for the highly ordered molecular scale assembly of functional nanoscale structures. This presentation will introduce our current status of GOLC research particularly focusing on the nanoscale assembly of functional nanostructures. Besides, relevant research works associated to the nanoscale assembly and chemical modification of various nanoscale graphene based materials will be presented.
Bio: Prof. Sang Ouk Kim is the KAIST Chair Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at KAIST, and the director of National Creative Research Initiative Center for Multi-Dimensional Directed Nanoscale Assembly and Graphene Liquid Crystalline Fiber Center funded by National Research Foundation (NRF) in South
Korea. Prof. Kim has published more than 200 SCI journal papers and delivered more than 350 invited presentations over worldwide thus far. Prof. Kim is serving as an associate editor of Energy Storage Materials (Elsevier) and editorial board members for many scientific journals published by RSC, ACS, Wiley, Elsevier, Springer, etc. His research group is actively researching on the nanoscale assembly & chemical modification of various nanomaterials including graphene based materials and polymers

Electrochemically Mediated Process for Carbon Dioxide Capture

T. Alan Hatton
Department of Chemical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Friday November 16th 2018
MATH 312
The seemingly inexorable rise of atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the past few decades owing to fossil fuel emissions has been implicated in the increasingly evident warming of the planet and significant changes in global climate patterns. The state-of-the-art technology for carbon capture from fossil fuel combustion, where concentrations are typically in the 5-15% range, is the thermally regenerated amine process. This process still faces challenges that have slowed down its rapid deployment on very large scales, including the high-temperature degradation of amines, the high-costs for retrofitting existing power and chemical plants, and the high operational costs for carbon capture. On the other hand, the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) at low concentrations (<1%) is of interest for some industrial processes, as well as for ventilation of enclosed spaces and for direct air capture (DAC). Most sorbent materials considered, or being developed, for such low concentration CO2 capture applications, require thermal, pressure, chemical or humidity swings for regeneration, all of which can incur significant energy losses. In an attempt to circumvent some of the limitations of current systems, we have developed new technologies based on electrochemical processes that operate at near isothermal conditions, and have significantly higher efficiencies than their thermal-swing and pressure-swing counterparts; electrochemical swing operations achieve separation of species of interest from a mixture when the absorbents or adsorbents are activated at some applied potential, and release the captured component on deactivation when the polarity is reversed
In this presentation we will consider two different approaches for carbon capture, both based on electrochemical modulation of the separation environment for this greenhouse gas. The first process avoids the high temperature stripping operation in thermal amine systems through the addition of copper ions to the solution on the anodic side of an electrochemical cell to bind with the amine and displace the CO2, which is recovered by flashing. The amine is regenerated before being returned to the absorber when the Cu is plated out from the aqueous solution in the cathode chamber. In the second approach we rely on electrodes functionalized with redox-active moieties that, when activated on application of a reducing potential, bind strongly with the CO2, and then release this gas when the potential is reversed. We will cover the synthesis and preparation of the electrode materials, describe the underlying physico-chemical interactions responsible for the strong selectivities under various conditions, and discuss transport and thermodynamic characteristics of these flow systems.
Bio: T. Alan Hatton is the Ralph Landau Professor and Director of the David H. Koch School of Chemical Engineering Practice at MIT, Co-Director of the MIT Energy Initiative Center for Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage, an Honorary Professorial Fellow of the Univ. of Melbourne in Australia, and an Adjunct Prof. at Curtin Univ. He obtained his BSc and MSc degrees in Chemical Engineering at the Univ. of Natal, Durban, South Africa, and worked at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria for three years before attending the Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, to obtain his PhD. His research interests encompass self-assembly of surfactants and block copolymers, synthesis and functionalization of magnetic nanoparticles and metal-organic frameworks for chemical, biological and environmental separations and catalysis, and the exploitation of stimuli-responsive materials for chemical and pharmaceutical processing applications. The most recent focus of his research has been on electrochemically-mediated CO2 capture and conversion, and on electro-swing sorption processes for trace contaminants of emerging concern in water supplies.

Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Mudd Building, Room 833
Friday,  March 31, 2017 10:10-11:25amRecent progress in machine learning and implications for the process and energy systems engineering fields

Speaker:Jay H. Lee, Professor of Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Director of Aramco-KAIST CO2 Management Center

Machine learning has recently come into limelight and its popularity is spurred by advances in deep learning, reinforcement learning, GPU-based computing, and commercial interest in big data and predictive analytics. New fundamental advances like the ability to train neural networks with a large number of layers for hierarchical feature learning are expected to bring significant new opportunities.  On the other hand, some renowned experts of the field have expressed skepticism, which is justifiable given the previous disappointment with neural networks and other AI techniques. In this presentation, I will critically examine the main motivation behind and advances in deep learning.  I will also discuss the recent advances in another branch of machine learning called ‘reinforcement learning’ and its relationship with dynamic programming and self-optimizing simulation.  Implications of these advances for the fields of process and energy systems engineering are discussed and the problem of integrated planning and operation of a hybrid renewable energy network is used to illustrate the potential of the approach. The seminar will also include a brief introduction of KAIST and activities at Aramco-KAIST CO2 Management Center.

Opportunities for Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage in Managing the Energy Transition

When: Tuesday,  July 19, 2016 11:00am-12:00
Where: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Mudd Building, Room 825
Speaker: Dr. Joseph B. Powell Shell Chief Scientist – Chemical Engineering

Energy demand will double by 2100, the target date for reduction of mankind’s collective net carbon footprint to near zero values in order to mitigate the long-term risk of climate change. Addressing these joint goals will put enormous pressure on energy systems technologies and migrations. Carbon capture and sequestration have been proposed as viable near-term options for continued use of fossil resources in meeting demand for energy and chemicals. Carbon utilization can potentially provide a long-term future as a carrier for renewable energy, and a source of building blocks for chemicals. This seminar will examine the Energy Transition and the move to a more sustainable energy system, and the important role CCUS can play.

Closing the Carbon Cycle: Fuels from Air

When: September 28-30 2016
Where: Arizona State University – 400 East Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281


Topics include:

  • Legal, social and political framework for air capture technologies
  • Methods to remove CO2 from the atmosphere
  • Electro-chemical and thermo-chemical methods to convert CO2 into fuels
  • Alternative fuel conversion pathways for CO2 from the atmosphere
  • Integration of carbon neutral fuels into the broader sustainability platform

Speakers include:

  • Wil Burns, Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment
  • Dan Esposito, Columbia University
  • Christopher Graves, Denmark Technical University
  • Anne Hauc, Denmark Technical University
  • Tom Jensen, SystemIQ
  • Kendra Kuhl, Opus-12, Cyclotron Road
  • Klaus Lackner, Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, Arizona State University
  • Ellen Stechel, Arizona State University
  • TBD, Carbon Engineering

Nanoporous materials for electrochemical systems

When: Monday, November 23rd, 2015, 3pm-4pm
Where: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Mudd Building, Room 826
Speaker: Dr. Feng Jiao, Department of Chemical and BiomolecularEngineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE

Please join us on November 23rd from 11am-1pm in 826 Mudd for the continuation of our seminar series.  Dr. Feng Jiao will be presenting on Nanoporous materials for electrochemical systems.

This talk focuses on development of nanoporoussilver (np-Ag) catalyst, which is able to reduce CO2electrochemically to CO in a highly efficient and selective way. Not only the porous structure creates an extremely large surface area for catalytic reaction, but also the curved internal surface generates a large number of highly active step sites for CO2conversion, resulting in an exceptional activity that is over three orders of magnitude higher than that of the polycrystalline counterpart at a moderate overpotentialof < 500 mV. More importantly, such a remarkable activity for CO2electroreductionhas been achieved with a CO Faradaic efficiency of 92%.
Next, development of non-precious metal based hydrogen evolution catalyst will be presented. A robust and efficient non-precious metal catalyst for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is one of the key components for CO2-free hydrogen production. A new report presents hierarchical nanoporouscopper-titanium (np-CuTi) bimetallic electrocatalyst, which is able to produce hydrogen from water under a mild overpotentialat a rate more than two times higher than that of the current state-of-the-art carbon-supported Pt catalyst. Although both Cu and Tiare known to be poor HER catalysts, the combination of these two elements creates unique Cu-Cu-Tihollow sites, which have a hydrogen binding energy very similar to that of Pt, resulting in an exceptional HER activity. Additionally, the hierarchical porosity of the np-CuTicatalyst also contributed to its high HER activity. Moreover, the np-CuTicatalyst is self-supported, eliminating the overpotentialassociated with the catalyst/support interface.

Integrated Analysis of Battery and Fuel Cell Vehicles in Californian Community

When: Monday, July 20, 2015, 12:00-1:00pm
Where: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Mudd Building, Room 825
Speaker: Markus Felgenhauer, Global Climate Change & Energy Project, Stanford University and Technical University of Munich

The Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy and the Earth and Environmental Engineering department presented the Integrated Analysis of Battery and Fuel Cell Vehicles in a Californian Community. The energy transition to decentralized renewable energy sources is increasing the demand for energy storage systems. Dual-purpose hydrogen storage systems, configured for both vehicle fueling and stationary energy storage, may provide cost or emissions reduction benefits. This work presents the overall costs and CO2 emissions for a community in California for different electric vehicle penetration rates in the years 2025 and 2035. Based on hourly data and the linear optimization model URBS, the differences between battery-powered and fuel cell-powered vehicles are highlighted.

Speaker Markus F. Felgenhauer is a Ph.D. student in energy systems analysis at the BMW Group / Technical University of Munich (Prof. Thomas Hamacher). His research at the Global Climate & Energy Project, Stanford University (Prof. Sally Benson) analyzes MW-scale electrolysis in communities for both hydrogen car refueling and stationary energy storage for decentralized renewable energy sources. He holds a M.Sc. in physics from the Technical University of Munich.

A Cubic Mile of Oil: Let’s Get Real About Energy

When: Wednesday, July 8, 2015, 11:00am-12:00pm
Where: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Mudd Building, Room 833
Speaker: Dr. Ripudaman Malhotra, SRI International, Menlo Park, CA.

The Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy and the Earth and Environmental Engineering department present the A Cubic Mile of Oil: Let’s Get Real About Energy seminar. This seminar will include discussion from Dr. Ripudaman Malhotra, co-author of A Cubic Mile of Oil. The book is a call for an informed public debate on energy, arguably the biggest challenge we face. It is a citizen’s guide to energy, aiming to make all the technical discussion accessible and relatable. It uses a simple visual measure, a cubic mile of oil (CMO), as the metric for comparing all global energy flows. As we look for alternate greener ways of producing energy it is vital we get the scale of our solutions commensurate with the magnitude of the challenge. The debate about energy supply has often been portrayed as a tension between the moral imperative of protecting the environment or preserving the economic interns of the energy industry. This will explore the challenge that we face in balancing the tension between protecting the environment and the moral imperative of providing adequate affordable energy to people around the earth.

Speaker Dr. Ripudaman Malhotra, Associate Director of the Energy and Environment Center at SRI International, received his PhD. In Chemistry from the University of Southern California in 1979. He is co-author of A Cubic Mile of Oil: The Looming Energy Crisis and Options for Averting It.” Dr. Malhotra was named an SRI Fellow in 2005, and in 2015 he was awarded the Henry H. Storch in Fuel Science from ACS Division of ENFL.

Sustainable Ironmaking Technology in South Korea Seminar

When: Thursday, May 7, 2015, 4-5pm
Where: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Mudd Building, Room 825
Speaker: Dr. Sang Ho Yi, Director, Ironmaking & Finex® Research Group, Technical Lab., POSCO, South Korea.

The Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy and the Earth and Environmental Engineering department presented the seminar on Sustainable Ironmaking Technology in South Korea.
Steelmakers in Korea have been facing great challenges toward innovation and development to overcome the constraints in the blast furnace (BF) process. FINEX® has been developed to provide the ironmaking sector with the capability to lower environmental pollution, especially CO2 emissions, and the flexibility in terms of operation and the choice of materials. FINEX® is a new technology combining a gas-based direct reduction in a series of fluidized-bed reactors and a reduction smelting in a melter gasifier. Commenced in April 2007, the first 1.5 MTPA commercial plant has demonstrated its competitiveness as an alternative ironmaking route. Another 2.0 MTPA advanced FINEX® plant was recently added at Pohang Works. The second commercial plant has been in satisfactory operation since its blowing-in in January 2014. This seminar will present the innovation and insights into the FINEX® technology.

Speaker Dr. Sang Ho Ki entered Technical Research Lab., Posco in 1985.
He served as Group Leader of the Department of Finex® R&D Project from 2007-2010, and has been the Director of Ironmaking & FINEX® Research Group, Technical Research Lab., POSCO since 2010. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at POSTECH in 1998.

Engineering Strategies for a Sustainable Food Supply Workshop

This 1.5 day workshop, held on March 16th & 17th at Princeton University, was funded by the United Engineering Foundation (UEF). It united experts from several engineering disciplines together with experts in psychology, sociology, public policy, and economics, to explore the technological approaches to improving the sustainability of the food supply chain. Professor Alissa Park of the Lenfest Center served as a steering committee member for the workshop and helped to organize the event. More information.