In order to meet the challenge of climate change while still allowing for continued economic development, the world will ultimately have to reduce emissions of climate-altering carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and adopt a carbon neutral energy infrastructure. Due to the abundance of fossil fuels that are low in cost, but high in carbon emissions, there is a strong incentive to explore opportunities for capturing the carbon dioxide that is produced in the combustion of fossil fuels and keeping it out of the atmosphere. At LCSE, we focus on developing the next generation of carbon capture and storage technologies, as well as technologies that will improve energy efficiency and thus reduce carbon emissions.
To focus our research, we have identified five key interconnected, topical research areas that fall under the overall theme of sustainable energy conversion and utilization pathways:
- Novel materials/nanotechnology for energy conversion, utilization and storage with a reduced environmental footprint
- Novel reaction pathways for sustainable energy and materials conversion throughout the engineered and natural elemental cycles, including innovative device development (e.g., 3D printed reactor systems).
- Catalysis for novel reaction pathways
- Separations using smart multi-functional materials for sustainable energy and materials.
- Earth systems for sustainable energy extraction, conversion and waste storage (e.g., waterless or CO2-rich fracking of shale, enhanced oil recovery, geothermal heat recovery with integrated CO2 conversion, and CO2 storage).