This multi-campus Center spans fundamental chemistry, chemical engineering, and reactor design and prototyping, to develop the knowledge needed to bring direct conversion of captured CO₂ into a mainstream process whereby CO2 is re-used and chemicals and fuels are obtained.
Current technologies for capture of CO₂ use heat to release the CO₂ and recycle the capture agent in an energy-intensive step. Direct conversion of captured CO₂ into chemicals is an alternative lower-energy approach to recycling the capture agents, and is commonly known as Reactive Capture of CO2 (RCC). In particular, the center will focus on electrochemically driven reactions so that any needed energy can be derived directly from renewable sources. A recent Lab Fees Center publication (Link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acscatal.2c05019) provides more background on the societal, economic and technical considerations of the RCC approach. Fundamentally new chemical transformations play a major role in all aspects of the work.
Within the center framework professional development opportunities for undergraduate and graduate student researchers include participation in Center-wide group meetings, literature and professional development meetings and opportunities to pursue research exchanges at participating University of California and National Lab sites.