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CORC CO₂ Research Talks

Monthly online research talks

CORC invites researchers, policymakers, industry partners, entrepreneurs and stakeholders to participate in our monthly CO2 research talks. We invite experts to share their research and expertise on the CO2-energy-food-water-socio-economics nexus. The research talk series will be streamed online.

CORC hosts monthly online research talks with experts within relevant topics on carbon removal and climate change to share knowledge, raise awareness of the center’s mission and with a focus on intensifying the amount of research in these fields.

Previous speakers

See the recordings from our previous talks here.

CORC CO2 Research Talks 13/12/2023: Paul Dauenhauer - Can Carbon Dioxide Removal Become Sustainable? On December 13th at 16:00 CET this year's last CORC CO₂ Research Talks will take place. We have the great pleasure of presenting Professor Paul Dauenhauer from the University of Minnesota. Paul Dauenhauer is a full professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.
CORC CO2 Research Talks 25/10/2023: Eli Yablonovitch - Carbon Dioxide Removal Technology to Solve the Climate Crisis, Eli Yablonovitch In 1977, the physicist Freeman Dyson proposed the burial of biomass, as a scalable, economical solution to the CO2 problem. Today we know that the harvested vegetation should be buried in an engineered dry Environmental Chamber. Plant biomass can be preserved for thousands of years by burial in a dry environment with sufficiently low thermodynamic “Water Activity”, which is the relative humidity in equilibrium with the biomass. A “Water Activity” under 60% will not support life, suppressing anaerobic organisms, thus preserving the biomass for millennia. Current agriculture costs and burial costs indicate US$60/tonne of sequestered CO2 which corresponds to $0.53/gallon of gasoline. If scaled to the level of a major crop, existing CO2 can be extracted from the atmosphere and sequester a significant fraction of prior years’ CO2 emissions.
Massimo Tavoni CORC CO2 Research Talks 21/09/2023 Carbon dioxide removal is a key strategy for climate protection; its role in climate stabilization has been mostly discussed in terms of technology options and climate and environmental consequences. In this talk, Massimo Tavoni shows how CO2 removal is not just a technology choice but first and foremost a societal one. Drawing from original research and the latest report from IPCC, Massimo discusses the economic and equity implications of large-scale CDR programs within and across countries and generations.
On the Way to Carbon Net Zero - Contributions from Catalysis to a Circular Economy in Sustainable Society We're excited to present Dr. Matthias Beller, Research Director and Professor of catalysis and Head of Department for Applied Homogeneous Catalysis at Leibniz-Institut für Katalyse.
Lars Angenent: CORC CO2 Research Talks 14/06/23 - TWO-STAGE CO2-TO-PROTEIN (CtP) PROCESS Lars Angenent wants to make our societies more sustainable by developing innovative biotechnology-production platforms in the lab that can be translated into the real world. With this development and translation of technology, his group aspires to make an impact on reducing the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere or by combining carbon capture and utilization into useful products. In this talk he zooms in on a new two-step process for turning CO2 into protein
Peter Westh CORC CO2 Research Talks 15 03 22: Enzyme assisted capture of carbon dioxide Carbon capture involves the separation of CO2 from either industrial flue gasses or atmospheric air. In practice, this is often done by absorbing CO2 in an aqueous solvent in one column and releasing pure CO2 in a separate column. However, the exchange between the gaseous and liquid phases is slow in both steps, and this challenges the efficacy of the capture process. Some recent work has shown that this may be alleviated by enzymes, and this has generated a strong interest in enzyme assisted carbon capture. This talk discusses views on the mechanism, performance, and prospects for the use of enzymes and peptides in carbon capture.
Jeffrey Long: CORC CO2 Research Talks 15/03/22: Cooperative Carbon Dioxide Capture in MOFs The tunability of metal–organic frameworks offers the possibility of designing powerful new materials that selectively adsorb and release gas molecules in a cooperative, switch-like manner. An initial example of such an adsorbent was realized in mmen-Mg2(dobpdc), which exhibits step-shaped CO2 adsorption isotherms arising from a cooperative insertion mechanism that leads to ammonium carbamate chains running along the pore surface. This mechanism has now been widely elaborated, leading to diamine-appended adsorbents that cycle at high capacity in the presence of water, and are capable of efficiently separating CO2 from flue gas emissions, air, natural gas, and biogas. Stabilization of the materials through functionalization with appropriately structured tetraamines further enables cooperative CO2 capture at high temperatures, as well as regeneration via steam stripping.
Alfred Spormann: CORC CO2 Research Talks 15/02/2023 Microbial Electrosynthesis for CO2 Conversions Dr. Spormann and his group are researching how microbial electrosynthesis can be used as a novel means to produce CO2-neutral biofuels and commodity chemicals. His research group has been studying extensively acetogenic bacteria, methanogens, and chain-elongating bacteria including for direct and indirect electron uptake via electrosynthetic systems
Matteo Pasquali:CORC CO2 Research Talks 15/02/2023: We can use carbon to decarbonize - and get hydrogen for free The Pasquali Lab's CF2 group, led by Prof. Matteo Pasquali, is developing sustainable high-value carbon materials (primarily Carbon NanoTubes (CNTs) and structures made from them) for metals displacement, paired with the production of clean hydrogen. The CNT synthesis method splits CH4 (or other abundant hydrocarbon feedstocks) into solid CNTs and H2. This method has the dual advantage of sequestering carbon as a solid that would otherwise be released as CO2 if burned and generating hydrogen that can be used as a clean fuel. In this case, the solid carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are processed in the Pasquali lab to create fibers that are as soft and flexible as silk, stronger than Kevlar, and almost as conductive as copper (on a mass basis). As such, CNT fibers have several advantages over metals for a variety of applications (e.g., electrical contacts for biomedical sensing, long-range power transmission, high-strength cables, and weight reduction in land and aerospace vehicles). Furthermore, these CNT materials are completely recyclable with minimal material property loss in fibers made from recycled vs pristine CNTs. By coupling synthesis, material development, and recycling of CNT materials, the Pasquali lab is at the forefront of the effort to de-COX-ify our world.
Jiwoong Lee: CORC CO2 Research Talks 25/01/2023: Simultaneous desalination and CO2 capture Water is arguably the most important molecule for mankind. It is becoming more critical to secure water supply, which is increasingly difficult. Desalination is an ideal solution – taking abundant seawater and turning it into potable water – however, requires energy for distillation and/or membrane-based reverse osmosis (RO) processes even though the technologies were highly optimized. Modern desalination technologies, namely RO membranes, are based on the rejection of ions (mostly sodium and chloride) on the phase boundary. I will talk about the catalytic utility of CO2 and amine-based materials for “capturing" chloride ions from seawater. This is the first step toward ideal desalination requiring no heat energy while capturing and sequestrating CO2 simultaneously based on the well-known Solvay process.
T. Alan Hatton: CORC CO2 Research Talks 25/01/2023 Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs) are crucial to avert catastrophic disruption of global climate patterns caused by the continuing atmospheric accumulation of CO2 due to industrial emissions. There is considerable interest nowadays in direct air capture, i.e., removal of CO2 directly from the ambient environment, but effective means for CO2 removal from oceans, where the accumulation rates rival those in the atmosphere, could augment the other NETs to reduce the environmental burden imposed by this greenhouse gas. Reported successful approaches to CO2 removal from ocean waters rely on water splitting via, bipolar membrane catalysis and electrodialysis for pH modulation to release the CO2 as a gas (low pH) or carbonate salt (high pH). We describe an alternative, membrane-free, electro-swing system based on electrochemical modulation of the pH via reversible, chloride-mediated electrochemical reactions at the electrodes of electrochemical cells through which the ocean water is passed. This approach does not require expensive membranes or the addition of chemicals, is easy to deploy, and does not lead to the formation of byproducts or secondary streams.
Philip Jessop: Helping Chemistry Go Green Philip Jessop is a Professor in Organic and Inorganic Chemistry at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada. His research area is primarily the utilization of CO2 in order to reduce energy and materials consumption in industrial processes and products. In his CO2 Research Talk, he will focus on how he works on identifying ways of recycling waste carbon dioxide Most people recycle used cans, bottles, and paper, but how many consider recycling carbon dioxide? Power plants, cement factories, and breweries rarely recycle the carbon dioxide they emit as waste gases. Dr. Philip Jessop, Canada Research Chair in Green Chemistry, wants to make the chemical and energy industries greener by identifying ways of recycling waste carbon dioxide. Dr. Jessop believes reusing carbon dioxide can help the environment and make industrial processes more efficient and economical, using less energy and fewer raw materials. Dr. Jessop focusses on the design of “switchable” or “smart” materials, including solvents and detergents, to make these separation steps much easier. His research will lead to the development of flexible switchable materials. The result will simplify separation processes, using less energy, consuming fewer raw materials, and recycling more materials, including waste carbon dioxide.
Marta Victoria: CORC CO2 Research Talks 16/11/2022 Europe’s contribution to global warming will be determined by the cumulative emissions until climate neutrality is achieved. In a recent paper, Marta and her group investigated alternative transition paths for Europe under different carbon budgets. In the talk, the similarities and differences among the alternative paths will be discussed. Marta will focus on the timing of the scale-up of technologies required for capturing and converting CO2, the system cost, and the required CO2 price.
Katherine Richardson: CORC CO2 Research Talks In her in this talk Katherine Richardson focuses on what we know (and don’t know!) about the biological processes influencing CO2 concentration in the surface ocean and how climate change may be impacting these processes. On time scales of 10s-100s of thousand years, changes in CO2 exchange between the ocean and atmosphere are critical for determining climate state. Interactions between physical, chemical, and biological processes determine whether the ocean is a sink or a source of CO2 in relation to the atmosphere. As long as we continue to increase CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, the ocean will act as a CO2 sink but what will happen when atmospheric CO2 concentration stabilizes or even begin to decline? If CO2 concentration in the surface ocean is higher than in the atmosphere, CO2 will outgas from the ocean to the atmosphere.
Jeffrey A. Reimer: CORC CO2 Research Talks 12/10/2022 In his talk, he focuses on the work of his research group, which is developing materials that decarbonize the atmosphere. The Reimer group is part of a multinational collaboration that studies solid adsorbent materials that capture of carbon dioxide from the air or the exhaust streams of industrial processes. Metal-organic frameworks are one class of materials that may be designed for such purposes. The group develops and employs in-situ spectroscopic and diffraction methods to investigate how MOFs with coordinately unsaturated metal sites adsorb target gas molecules with high affinity and selectivity
Arun Majumdar: CORC CO2 Research Talks 12/10/2022 Net-zero-emissions is what everyone is talking about and striving for. But while governments, municipalities, companies, and even individuals are trying to reach the big 0, it’s becoming more apparent that we need to reduce below zero to even have a chance of keeping the temperature below 1.5°-2°C degrees. A global goal agreed upon by the UN in the Paris agreement of 2015. Calculations from the IPCC, The International Panel for Climate Change, show that by the end of this century we need to remove 6-20 gigatons of CO2 pr. year to make that goal happen. And we need to begin removing CO2 from the atmosphere already in 2030! What technologies can we use and what challenges confound us? One thing is certain – to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at a gigaton scale, we also need technology for removing carbon dioxide at a gigaton scale.
Jennifer Wilcox: The role of carbon capture in meeting net-zero carbon goals. 14/09/2022 Dr. Jennifer Wilcox of the U.S. Department of Energy kicked off the CORC CO2 Research Talks series with a captivating talk on how the U.S. invests in carbon removal technologies and how that is balanced with a strategy to push deep decarbonization to reach net-zero 2050 goals.