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 in North America
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 from North America: 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
- Currently based in North America (USA, Canada)
- 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.
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.
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