Professor strives for ‘greener’ power plants
June 30, 2009
Research to help make the next generation of power plants more environmentally sustainable will be led by Arizona State University chemical engineering professor Jerry Lin.
His project to capture carbon dioxide created in the combustion of coal, natural gas or biomass to produce hydrogen for energy generation will be supported by a recently announced grant of more than $650,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The hydrogen resulting from this conversion method is used to produce heat that generates electrical power, but the carbon dioxide that escapes in the process contributes to greenhouse gases that are accumulating in the Earth’s atmosphere – with potentially negative long-term environmental impacts.
Lin is working on ways to capture such carbon dioxide emissions before the combustion required to produce hydrogen, preventing the release of carbon dioxide and allowing it to be safely sequestered.
His goal also is to make the conversion process more energy efficient. He wants to not only be able to separate carbon dioxide from hydrogen and contain it, but produce a higher yield of hydrogen from coal, natural gas or biomass.
Lin will assemble a team of ASU chemical engineering doctoral students and post-doctoral research assistants to work on the projects.