Capture and Direct Conversion of Carbon Dioxide

Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 12:00pm to 12:45pm

Virtual Event

Abstract: On April 22, 2021, President Biden committed the United States to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030. A central part of this strategy will rely on removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from power plants. Beyond 2050, projections indicate that we will need to be removing CO2 from air. What are the technologies in existence today to capture carbon, and what technologies do we need to get there? In this talk, I will highlight some existing challenges with CO2 capture and the uncertain question of what to do with CO2 once captured. These challenges reveal opportunities to develop emerging concepts to make carbon capture less energy-intensive and the need for more versatile capture technologies to meet demands in varied sectors where carbon will need to be managed. In this context, I will describe our research efforts developing a concept of integrated CO2 capture with direct electrochemical conversion, which shows potential to simplify the carbon management chain and lower critical energy penalties by avoiding the costly thermal regeneration step, if key issues can be addressed. Direct capture-conversion has expanded in recent years to allow for conversion of CO2 to multiple possible end products, including minerals and chemical feedstocks. I will discuss the scientific and practical challenges of the technology and factors to consider when assessing how it might contribute to managing carbon at scale.

Biography: Betar Gallant is an Assistant Professor and the ABS Career Development Chair in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Dr. Gallant completed her SB (‘08), SM (‘10) and PhD (‘13) degrees in this department. After graduating, Dr. Gallant was a Kavli Nanoscience Institute Prize Postdoctoral Fellow at Caltech. At MIT, Dr. Gallant leads the Energy and Gas Conversion Laboratory, which is developing insights into new reaction mechanisms that underpin advanced energy storage devices and greenhouse gas mitigation technologies. Dr. Gallant has been the recipient of multiple awards, such as a 2016 Bose Fellow (MIT), an Army Research Office Young Investigator Program Award (2019), the Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Distinguished Teaching at MIT (2019), a Scialog Fellow in Energy Storage and in Negative Emissions Science (2019-2020), and an NSF CAREER Award (2021).

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Academic, Sustainability

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Department of Mechanical Engineering
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