Spotlight: Carbon Upcycling UCLA - NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE Semifinalist

(Courtesy XPRIZE)

We are living in an age of innovation, an unprecedented era of technological progress and prosperity driven by energy. However, most of this energy comes from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas that account for a majority of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. We know that CO2 emissions are a leading contributor to climate change, and the world will need a portfolio of solutions to address this Grand Challenge.

The $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE will challenge the world to reimagine what we can do with CO2 emissions by incentivizing and accelerating the development of technologies that convert CO2 into valuable products. These technologies have the potential to transform how the world approaches CO2 mitigation and reduce the cost of managing CO2.

The Carbon Upcycling UCLA team brings together researchers from chemistry and biochemistry, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, and economics. The team includes UCLA faculty, staff, and students. Five distinguished professors lead the team.

Dr. Gaurav Sant is the Principal Investigator on the project and is developing the technology to combine the pressurized CO2 with hydrated lime to create CO2NCRETE: a carbonated building material. Dr. J.R. DeShazo is providing the economic and market analysis for the work. Dr. Richard Kaner is developing the membrane technology to separate/capture the CO2 from flue gas. Dr. Laurent Pilon is focusing on waste heat recovery and on the overall energy efficiency of the process. Finally, Dr. Mathieu Bauchy is working on optimization of the material properties and CO2uptake.

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