The chemistry and physics of CO2 are still far from being fully understood, thus hampering our attempts to mitigate the global issues related to it. Our research group works on CO2-functionalization and catalysis to find ideal solutions towards creating more valuable resources to compensate the input energy in the conversion process. This implies that this industrial waste, CO2, can be transformed into useful chemicals, serving as a fuel source for water purification and desalination. By studying these chemical processes, we are increasing our understanding of the chemistry and physics of CO2, thus providing essential information and knowledge for carbon capture, storage and utilization (CCSU).
At CORC, the Lee group will concentrate on the development of the next generation technologies for CO2 capture to forge viable solutions for imminent global issues related to anthropogenic CO2 emission, by applying the knowledge acquired from organic synthetic chemistry and catalysis. In this context, reducing the energy penalty in desorption of CO2 in carbon capture processes emerges as a critical goal. This will be possible by identifying compatible direct chemical or biological conversion of the captured CO2 to the final products of interest, providing the ultimate solution for CCSU, preferentially from thin air via direct air capture (DAC) or from point sources.