Carbon Capture Research Receives $3 Million From U.S. Department of Energy

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The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that a research project at Rensselaer is one of eight in the nation selected to receive federal funding geared toward the development of “novel and enabling carbon capture transformational technologies.”

Miao Yu, an associate professor of chemical and biological engineering, will receive DOE funding of $3 million to support his work on a new, scalable approach to capturing carbon dioxide before it leaves coal power plants and enters the atmosphere.

Yu and his team are developing a sorbent capable of trapping carbon dioxide in its pores as flue gas — exhaust produced by coal power plants — passes through it. The sorbent is a surface modified solid powder-like material made of zeolites, which are minerals with very small pores.

The research team plans to create a water resistant and molecular-sieving coating that will be applied to the zeolite in a way that can be carefully adjusted to control the size of the pores. That will make it possible for the sorbent to capture carbon dioxide while rejecting similarly sized molecules like nitrogen.

“The combination of this concept with the zeolite material is unique,” Yu says. “No other group in the world is working on this.”

  • Energy, Environment, and Smart Systems
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