N.C. A&T Receives DOE Funding to Research Cost-Effective Carbon Capture Technologies

By Jordan Howse / 08/19/2021 Research and Economic Development, College of Engineering, College of Science and Technology

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Aug. 19, 2021) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University was awarded nearly $1.8 million from the Department of Energy to research novel ways to capture carbon dioxide from the air.

Carbon dioxide concentration in the air continues to increase each year, intensifying the greenhouse effect that is warming the planet. The Department of Energy awarded three entities ­– A&T, Oregon State and the Lawrence Berkeley Lab­ – a total of $6.6 million to research ways to capture CO2 that can then be used to convert into other needed chemicals.

Debasish Kuila, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Chemistry in the College of Science and Technology (COST), is the principal investigator, partnering with Jianzhong Lou, Ph.D., Department of Chemical Engineering  in the College of Engineering, and Aleksandrs Prokofjevs, Ph.D., in Department of Chemistry in COST.

“Curbing carbon emissions and carbon sequestration alone will not be enough to combat the climate crisis,” Kuila said. “If we are successful, this will lead to technology that can capture CO2 which can help bring the concentration of carbon (dioxide) in the air down.”

DOE awarded a total of $94 million to seven universities and two national labs. Direct Air Capture (DAC) is an expanding field in decarbonization and a key facet of the plan to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

“Finding ways to remove and store carbon directly from the air is an absolute necessity in our fight against the climate crisis,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “This investment in carbon capture technology research through universities and DOE laboratories will position America as a leader in this growing field, create good-paying jobs, and help make our carbon-free future a reality.”

DAC technology is a growing field that still requires significant investments in research and development to create a cost-effective and economically viable technology that can be deployed at scale and in time to meet the urgent needs of the climate crisis.

The other research projects:

  • Washington State University and Oklahoma State University will use energy efficient approaches to convert carbon dioxide capture into useful products. (Award amount: $4.8 million)
  • University of Illinois, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Case Western Reserve University will advance novel approaches that use electricity or light to control the capture and/or release of carbon dioxide. (Award amount: $9 million)
  • Northwestern University will examine how the dynamical behavior of promising carbon capture systems impacts their carbon dioxide capture and release. (Award amount: $3.3 million)

These new research projects will support breakthroughs in understanding how to overcome the limitations of currently available technologies, including inefficient energy usage, with the goal of building a research foundation of entirely new and more effective approaches for direct removal of carbon dioxide from the air. 

Media Contact Information: jmhowse@ncat.edu

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