Catalysis Club of Chicago

Member-North American Catalysis Society

April 18, 2022

Professor Ah-Hyung (Alissa) Park

Lenfest Earth Institute Professor of Climate Change
Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering & Department of Chemical Engineering
Director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy,
Columbia University, New York, NY 10027

Towards Sustainable Energy and Materials: Creating a New Circular Carbon Economy via Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage

Abstract: In order to meet the ever-increasing global energy demands while stabilizing the atmospheric CO2 level, the development of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies is one of the critical needs. In particular, there has been significant efforts to develop CO2 capture solvents and some (e.g., amine-based aqueous solvents) have shown very promising results. Unfortunately, the energy requirement for the current aqueous solvent systems is still considered to be too high. Thus, efforts have been focused on the development of the next generation CO2 capture materials, which are often water-free. Nanoparticle Organic Hybrid Materials (NOHMs) are a new class of organic-inorganic hybrids that consist of a hard nanoparticle core functionalized with a molecular organic corona that possesses a high
degree of chemical and physical tunability. It has recently been discovered that NOHMs have interesting electrolyte properties which may allow the CO2 capture to be pulled by the in-situ CO2 conversion reactions. The development of these unique nanoscale hybrid materials will not only advance CO2 capture materials design but also introduce unique research opportunities in various energy and environmental fields. This seminar will discuss the challenges and opportunities of different CO2 capture and conversion pathways including Negative Emission Technologies (e.g., Direct Air Capture) that can allow the development of circular carbon and hydrogen economy using renewable energy.

Bio: Ah-Hyung (Alissa) Park is the Lenfest Earth Institute Professor of Climate Change in the Departments of Earth and Environmental Engineering & Chemical Engineering at Columbia University. She is also the Director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy at the Earth Institute, Columbia Climate School. Her research focuses on sustainable energy and materials conversion pathways with emphasis on integrated Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) technologies addressing climate change. Park group is also working on Direct Air Capture of CO2 and Negative Emission Technologies including BioEnergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) and sustainable construction materials with low carbon intensity. Park received a number of professional awards and honors including ACS ENFL Mid-Career Researcher Award (2022), U.S. C3E Research Award (2018), PSRI Lectureship Award at AIChE (2018), ACS Energy and Fuels Division – Emerging Researcher Award (2018), ACS WCC Rising Star Award (2017), and NSF CAREER Award (2009). Park also led a number of global and national discussions on CCUS including the Mission Innovation Workshop on Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage in 2017 and the National Petroleum Council CCUS Report in 2019. Park is a Fellow of American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), American Chemical Society (ACS), Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).