Environmental Protection

Arizona State University Received Grant to Advance Carbon Capture Technology

In order to pursue high-risk, high-reward advances with the potential to change the way the nation consumes and generates energy, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Arizona State University (ASU) a grant for alternative energy research.

ASU’s grant is to develop an efficient and cost-effective carbon capture technology using an innovative electrochemical technique. ASU will separate carbon dioxide from other emissions coming from power plants with the possibility of reducing energy and cost requirements by more than half. This could be an economically enabling breakthrough in the drive to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program has the goal of developing clever and creative approaches to transform the global energy landscape, while advancing America’s technology leadership. ASU’s grant is for $612,000 for one year.

ASU has been building up its portfolio in alternative energy research for several years and currently includes, a center for research into electrochemistry for renewable energy applications; several advanced programs on solar energy research; one of the leading testing and certification centers for solar energy; and research into solar-generated biofuels including advanced work on algae-based biofuels.

The carbon capture program was initially supported by ASU LightWorks, which brings together the intellectual expertise across the university centered on leveraging the power of the sun to create solutions in the areas of renewable energy, including generating electricity, alternative fuels, and preparing future energy leaders.

“We are extremely excited about this new grant from the Department of Energy ARPA-E program. The effort is focused on a key issue in fossil fuel-based energy production - how to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions without consuming too much of the energy content of the fuel,” explained lead ASU researcher Dan Buttry. “We have recently developed a new approach to carbon dioxide capture that uses an electrochemical process with some design features similar to those in a fuel cell.”

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