Our student ambassadors have carefully curated lists of professionals who have made a significant impact on sustainability in their industry.
From Finnish CEOs to entrepreneurs from Sri Lanka, the professionals hand-picked on this list come from a variety of professions and countries.
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Top Researchers in Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage Technologies
At present, 189 countries in the world have endorsed the Paris Agreement, by which they agree to limit their CO2 emissions in order to fight climate change. Currently, the goal is to keep the world from getting 2°C warmer than pre-industrial times by 2100. However, there is already plenty of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and, by simply reducing emissions, the 2°C target will probably not be achieved on time.
For this reason, negative emission technologies like CCUS are becoming so important that their deployment is already implied in future climate projections. By either capturing CO2 from point sources of pollution or directly from the atmosphere, CCUS technologies have a mitigating effect on climate change while we transition to more sustainable ways of production.
This list contains researchers on carbon capture, usage and storage technologies: all these researchers are contributing to a more sustainable future for all of us.
Our criteria for selection:
- Researching carbon capture, usage and storage technologies
- Aiming to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Publication record and strong or rising citation index
Professor Wilcox researches methods of trace metal and carbon capture to mitigate the climate-changing phenomenon of fossil-fuels burning.
Having served on a number of committees, including the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society to assess carbon capture methods and their impact on climate, she has also published the first textbook on carbon capture, and is an inspiring TED speaker.
Currently, she is Professor of Chemical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts.
- Bains, P., Psarras, P. and Wilcox, J. (2017). CO2 capture from the industry sector. Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, 63, pp.146-172. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecs.2017.07.001;
- Bui, M., Adjiman, C.S., Bardow, A., Anthony, E.J., Boston, A., Brown, S., Fennell, P.S., Fuss, S., Galindo, A., Hackett, L.A. and Hallett, J.P. et al. (2018). Carbon capture and storage (CCS): the way forward. Energy & Environmental Science, 11(5), pp.1062-1176. https://doi.org/10.1039/C7EE02342A;
- Wilcox, J. (2020). The Giving Earth. Spring Bridge Issue on Engineering and Climate Change, 50(1), pp. 43-49. Available at: https://www.nae.edu/228941/The-Giving-Earth.
Professor Tontiwachwuthikul’s research focuses on technologies for the recovery and utilization of CO2 (Greenhouse gas control technologies) and industrial pollution prevention and control.
Co-founder of Clean Energy Technology Research Institute in Canada, he provides technical advice to governments and industries nationally and internationally.
He is a professor of Industrial and Process Systems Engineering at the University of Regina, Canada.
- Bairq, Z.A.S., Gao, H., Murshed, F.A.M., Tontiwachwuthikul, P. and Liang, Z. (2020). Modified heterogeneous catalyst aided regeneration of CO2 capture amines: A promising perspective for a drastic reduction in energy consumption. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 8, 9526-9536. https://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c02582;
- Liang, Z., Fu, K., Idem, R. and Tontiwachwuthikul, P. (2016). Review on current advances, future challenges and consideration issues for post-combustion CO2 capture using amine-based absorbents. Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering, 24(2), pp.278-288. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cjche.2015.06.013;
- Liang, Z.H., Rongwong, W., Liu, H., Fu, K., Gao, H., Cao, F., Zhang, R., Sema, T., Henni, A., Sumon, K. and Nath, D. et al. (2015). Recent progress and new developments in post-combustion carbon-capture technology with amine based solvents. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 40, pp.26-54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijggc.2015.06.017.
- Tontiwachwuthikul and Idem (2013) (Editors). Recent progress and new developments in post-combustion carbon-capture technology with reactive solvents, eBook, Future-Science Group in UK (ISBN-epub: 978-1-909453-33-3 and ISBN-print:978-1-909453-35-7)
Among many other topics, Prof Smit’s research includes carbon capture and sequestration technologies, about which he published a textbook in 2014. More specifically, his research focuses on using molecular simulations to find the optimal material for carbon capture. At present, he is focusing on metal organic frameworks.
In 2004 Berend Smit was elected Director of the European Center of Atomic and Molecular Computations (CECAM) Lyon France.
Since 2007, he has been a full professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at U.C Berkeley, California.
- Smit, B. and Garcia, S. (2020). Carbon capture and storage: making fossil fuels great again?. Europhysics News, 51(2), pp.20-22. https://doi.org/10.1051/epn/2020203;
- Smit, B. (2016). Carbon Capture and Storage: introductory lecture. Faraday discussions, 192, pp.9-25. https://doi.org/10.1039/C6FD00148C.
Professor Lackner’s research topics include closing the carbon cycle by atmospheric carbon capture.
Trained as a theoretical physicist, in 1999 he was the first person to suggest the artificial capture of carbon dioxide from air in the context of carbon management.
He is the director of the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions (CNCE) and Professor at Arizona State University.
- Azarabadi, H. and Lackner, K.S. (2019). A sorbent-focused techno-economic analysis of direct air capture. Applied Energy, 250, pp.959-975. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2019.04.012;
- Shi, X., Xiao, H., Azarabadi, H., Song, J., Wu, X., Chen, X. and Lackner, K.S. (2020). Sorbents for the Direct Capture of CO2 from Ambient Air. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 59(18), pp.6984-7006. https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.201906756.
Professor Baxter’s areas of research include carbon capture, energy storage and sustainable energy research, development, and commercialization.
He is co-founder of Sustainable Energy Solutions, a company aiming to decrease GHG emission in the energy industry through Cryogenic Carbon Capture (CCC) technology.
He is currently a professor of chemical engineering at Brigham Young University, Utah.
- Berger, A.H., Hoeger, C., Baxter, L. and Bhown, A. (2018), October. Evaluation of Cryogenic Systems for Post Combustion CO2 Capture. In 14th Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies Conference Melbourne (pp. 21-26). https://ssrn.com/abstract=3365753;
- Fazlollahi, F., Saeidi, S., Safdari, M.S., Sarkari, M., Klemeš, J.J. and Baxter, L.L. (2017). Effect of operating conditions on cryogenic carbon dioxide removal. Energy Technology, 5(9), pp.1588-1598. https://doi.org/10.1002/ente.201600802.
Professor Hatton’s specialties include transport phenomena, separation processes, microemulsions, colloids.
He leads a research group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a focus on developing electrochemical processes and carbon capture.
His team recently developed a new way of capturing carbon dioxide from air, which requires lower atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and is significantly less energy-intensive and expensive than traditional carbon capture methods.
- Voskian, S., Brown, P., Halliday, C., Rajczykowski, K. and Hatton, T.A. (2020). Amine-Based Ionic Liquid for CO2 Capture and Electrochemical or Thermal Regeneration. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. https://doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c02172;
- Voskian, S. and Hatton, T.A. (2019). Faradaic electro-swing reactive adsorption for CO 2 capture. Energy & Environmental Science, 12(12), pp.3530-3547. https://doi.org/10.1039/C9EE02412C.
Professor Ghoniem’s research covers clean energy technologies with focus on CO2 capture, renewable energy and alternative fuels, among many other topics.
Director of the Reacting Gas Dynamics Laboratory at MIT, he has lectured extensively around the World and consulted for the aerospace, automotive and energy industry.
He received several prestigious awards and his team recently developed a new system that could convert power plant emissions of carbon dioxide into useful fuels for cars, trucks, and planes, as well as into chemical feedstocks for a wide variety of products.
- Chakroun, N.W. and Ghoniem, A.F. (2015). High-efficiency low LCOE combined cycles for sour gas oxy-combustion with CO2 capture. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 41, pp.163-173. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijggc.2015.06.025;
- Wu, X.Y. and Ghoniem, A.F. (2019). CO2 reduction and methane partial oxidation on surface catalyzed La0. 9Ca0. 1FeO3-δ oxygen transport membranes. Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 37(4), pp.5517-5524. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proci.2018.05.164.
Professor Keith’s has been researching the fields of climate science, energy technology, and public policy for twenty five years.
He was one of TIME magazine’s Heroes of the Environment 2009.
Currently he divides his time between Cambridge, where he is Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Professor of Public Policy in the Harvard Kennedy School, and Calgary, where he helps lead Carbon Engineering, a company developing technology to capture CO2 from ambient air.
- Holmes, G. and Keith, D.W. (2012). An air–liquid contactor for large-scale capture of CO2 from air. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 370(1974), pp.4380-4403. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2012.0137;
- Keith, D.W., Holmes, G., Angelo, D.S. and Heidel, K. (2018). A process for capturing CO2 from the atmosphere. Joule, 2(8), pp.1573-1594. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joule.2018.05.006.
Professor Song specializes in clean energy and catalysis research, including catalysis and adsorption in fuel processing and CO2 capture and conversion, among many other topics: he is internationally recognized for his original contributions to these fields.
Director of the EMS Energy Institute, he has served as consultant for BP, ExxonMobil and Saudi Aramco.
Song has received many awards, including Top Cited Authors in Catalysis from Elsevier and the Wilson Award for Excellence in Research at Penn State.
He is a Distinguished Professor of Fuel Science and Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University.
- Li, W., Wang, H., Jiang, X., Zhu, J., Liu, Z., Guo, X. and Song, C., (2018). A short review of recent advances in CO 2 hydrogenation to hydrocarbons over heterogeneous catalysts. RSC advances, 8(14), pp.7651-7669. https://doi.org/10.1039/C7RA13546G;
- Wang, X. and Song, C. (2019). Capture of CO 2 from Concentrated Sources and the Atmosphere. An Economy Based on Carbon Dioxide and Water, pp. 35-72. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-15868-2_2.
Professor Shimizu has researched metal-organic frameworks for about 20 years.
He is the Chief Scientific Officer for ZoraMat, which commercializes Zoralite, a material that acts as a sponge soaking up gases like CO2.
Prof Shimizu serves on the editorial advisory boards of American Chemical Society, Royal Society of Chemistry and Cell Press journals.
He has received two Canadian Society for Chemistry awards, and given over 120 invited talks around the world.
Currently, he is a professor of Chemistry at the University of Calgary, Canada.
- Marei, N.N., Kibria, M.G. and Shimizu, G.K.(2019), November. An Integrated CO 2 Capture and Conversion Device based on Metal-Organic Framework-and Cu Nanostructured Electrocatalyst. In 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting. AIChE. Available at: https://aiche.confex.com/aiche/2019/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/580828;
- Samanta, A., Zhao, A., Shimizu, G.K., Sarkar, P. and Gupta, R. (2012). Post-combustion CO2 capture using solid sorbents: a review. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 51(4), pp.1438-1463. https://doi.org/10.1021/ie200686q.
Dr.Herzog is a Senior Research Engineer at the MIT Energy Initiative. He has been on the MIT research staff for over 30 years, where, among other topics, he works on greenhouse gas mitigation technologies.
He was a Coordinating Lead Author for the IPCC Special Report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage (September 2005), a co-author on the MIT Future of Coal Study (March 2007), and a US delegate to the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum’s Technical Group (June 2003-September 2007).
In 2010 he received the Greenman Award “in recognition of contributions made to the development of greenhouse gas control technologies” by the IEAGHG.
- Stern, M.C., Simeon, F., Herzog, H. and Hatton, T.A., 2013. An electrochemically-mediated gas separation process for carbon abatement. Energy Procedia, 37, pp.1172-1179. http://sequestration.mit.edu/pdf/2013_Stern_etal_GHGT11_EnergyProcedia_vol11.pdf
- Rubin, E.S., Davison, J.E. and Herzog, H.J., 2015. The cost of CO2 capture and storage. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 40, pp.378-400. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijggc.2015.05.018
Dr. Julio Friedmann is a Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA. From 2013-2016, he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Fossil Energy at DOE, and before that he served at Lawrence Livermore National Lab for 15 years.
He is an expert on carbon removal, CO2 conversion and use, and carbon capture and sequestration. In his own words, he has spent most of his career working to keep CO2 out of the air and oceans or removing CO2 from them.
He is the CEO of Carbon Wrangler and serves as a special advisor to the Global CCS Institute. He was recently named as a Senior Fellow to the Breakthrough Institute and the Climate Leadership Council.
Dr.Friedmann strongly believes that the advances in Science and technology can develop a better, more sustainable future, and also believes that cross-disciplinary partnerships are required for major advances.
- Friedmann, S.J., Ochu E.R and Brown, J. (2020). Capturing Investment: policy design to finance CCUS projects in the US power sector. Columbia SIPA. Available at: https://energypolicy.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/file-uploads/CCUS-Finance_CGEP-Report_040220.pdf
- Friedmann, S.J., 2019. Engineered CO2 Removal,. Climate Restoration, and Humility. Frontiers in Climate, 1, p.3. https://doi.org/10.3389/fclim.2019.00003
Professor Yan’s specialities include Carbon Capture and Storage technologies.
An advisory expert to the United Nations, European Union Commission, and Asian Development Bank, among other international organizations, he is also Editor-in-Chief of two journals (Applied Energy and Handbook of Clean Energy Systems).
Currently, he is a professor of Energy Engineering at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.
- Hedin, N., Andersson, L., Bergström, L. and Yan, J., 2013. Adsorbents for the post-combustion capture of CO2 using rapid temperature swing or vacuum swing adsorption. Applied Energy, 104, pp.418-433. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2012.11.034
- Yan, J. and Zhang, Z., 2019. Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS). Applied Energy, 235, pp.1289-1299. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.11.019
Professor Maroto-Valer is part of the UK Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC) and the director of the world-leading Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS).
This centre provides innovations for the deployment of low-carbon energy systems required for meeting carbon targets, including carbon capture, conversion, transport and storage.
In 2019, she was appointed Associate Principal (Global Sustainability) at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland.
- Leung, D.Y., Caramanna, G. and Maroto-Valer, M.M., 2014. An overview of current status of carbon dioxide capture and storage technologies. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 39, pp.426-443. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2014.07.093
- Maroto‐Valer, M.M., 2019. CCUS: Solving the conundrum of decoupling sustainable economic growth and CO2 emissions. Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology, 9(2), pp.128-129. https://doi.org/10.1002/ghg.1865
Professor Haszeldine is the Director of Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (SCCS).
Being the world’s first Professor of CCS, he has over 35 years research experience in energy and environment, including biochar, and provides advice to both UK and Scottish governments.
He was awarded the Geological Society William Smith Medal in 2011 and in 2012 was appointed OBE for services to climate change technologies. Currently, he is based at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
- Haszeldine, R.S., Flude, S., Johnson, G. and Scott, V. (2018). Negative emissions technologies and carbon capture and storage to achieve the Paris Agreement commitments. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 376(2119), p.20160447n. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2016.0447
- Haszeldine, R.S. (2009). Carbon capture and storage: how green can black be?. Science, 325(5948), pp.1647-1652. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1172246
Prof Styring is an expert in carbon capture and utilization (CDU).
His research includes the production of polymers, small molecules and liquid fuels, using the commercially viable products as energy stores from renewable power.
He is author of the globally acclaimed Carbon Capture and Utilisation in the Green Economy policy document, and Chair of the CO2Chem Network, the largest global network of academics, industry and policy makers with interests in CDU.
Prof Styring also has produced films for 5 News, Current TV and new media channels for public engagement.
- Styring, P. (2019). Carbon dioxide utilization as a mitigation tool. In Managing Global Warming (pp. 527-551). Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-814104-5.00018-1
- García-Gutiérrez, P., Cuéllar-Franca, R.M., Reed, D., Dowson, G., Styring, P. and Azapagic, A. (2019). Environmental sustainability of cellulose-supported solid ionic liquids for CO 2 capture. Green Chemistry, 21(15), pp.4100-4114. https://doi.org/10.1039/C9GC00732F
Professor Gibbins is the Director of the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre.
He is involved in other initiatives on CCS in the UK and overseas, including the SaskPower CCS Global Consortium Advisory Committee.
He also has participated in reports and inquiries on CCS for a range of UK Government and other organisations and has contributed to a number of media pieces and other CCS-related outreach activities. He is a Professor of Power Plant Engineering and Carbon Capture at the University of Sheffield.
- Gibbins, J. and Director, U.K. (2017) July. An update on the state of CCS in the UK. In Proceedings of the Carbon Management Technology Conference, CMTC 2017 (Vol. 2, pp. 1111-1132). Sheffield. https://ukccsrc.ac.uk/sites/default/files/documents/news/Gibbins_CMTC_c(1).pdf
- Gibbins, J. and Chalmers, H., 2008. Carbon capture and storage. Energy policy, 36(12), pp.4317-4322. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2008.09.058
Dr. Lucquiaud has been working on Carbon Capture Technologies since 2005, first at Imperial College London, then at the University of Edinburgh since 2010.
He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Clean Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering, where he also works at the international Institute for Energy Systems. He is also seconded at 50% to CO2 capture technology developer C-Capture with funding from a Royal Academy of Engineering Industrial Fellowship.
His research is “mission orientated” and aims at developing the energy and climate technologies necessary to achieve a zero-carbon society.
In 2018, he launched the first free online course on Climate Change and Carbon Capture and Storage. It is available on the platform EdX and it is aimed at the general public.
- Chalmers, H., Lucquiaud, M., Gibbins, J. and Leach, M., 2009. Flexible operation of coal fired power plants with postcombustion capture of carbon dioxide. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 135(6), pp.449-458. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)EE.1943-7870.0000007
- Herraiz, L., Fernández, E.S., Palfi, E. and Lucquiaud, M., 2018. Selective exhaust gas recirculation in combined cycle gas turbine power plants with post-combustion CO2 capture. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 71, pp.303-321. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijggc.2018.01.017
Dr. Mai Bui is a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Environmental Policy in the Faculty of Natural Sciences of Imperial College London.
She currently works on the Comparative assessment and region-specific optimisation of greenhouse gas removal (GGR) technologies project (funded by NERC), which studies the region-specific potential of negative emission technologies.
She is also a member of the Centre for Process Systems Engineering (CPSE) and co-leads the Clean Fossil and Bioenergy Research Group (CleanFaB). She is also a Future Energy Leader at the Energy Centre of the Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and a committee member of the SCI Energy Group.
In 2017, Dr. Bui worked on the project Multi-scale Energy Systems Modelling Encompassing Renewable, Intermittent, Stored Energy and Carbon Capture and Storage (MESMERISE-CCS), which studied the value of flexible CCS, identifying process bottlenecks along the CCS chain.
- Bui, M., Tait, P., Lucquiaud, M. and Mac Dowell, N. (2018). Dynamic operation and modelling of amine-based CO2 capture at pilot scale. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 79, pp.134-153. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijggc.2018.08.016
- Bui, M., Fajardy, M. and Mac Dowell, N. (2017). Bio-Energy with CCS (BECCS) performance evaluation: Efficiency enhancement and emissions reduction. Applied energy, 195, pp.289-302. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.03.063
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