Chemistry Professor Awarded DOE Grant to Fight Global Warming

WASHINGTON (March 18, 2014) – Howard University Chemistry Professor Jason S. Matthews, Ph.D., was recently awarded a $200,000 grant by the Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE-NETL) for research in the fight against global warming.

The two-year research project is centered on the development of new processes to capture pure carbon dioxide -- CO2 -- and generate electricity. According to Matthews, researchers will develop synthetic routes toward the preparation of core shell iron oxide particles for use in the chemical looping process developed by Professor Liang-Shih Fan at The Ohio State University. In chemical looping, coal efficiently reacts with iron oxide to generate electricity and a pure CO2 stream, which can be easily captured and stored underground. This cost-effective process is expected to capture more that 99% of coal’s CO2 emissions.

“The process is more environmentally friendly in comparison to traditional coal-fired power plants, which produce significant amounts of CO2 and other pollutants that contribute to global warming and acid rain,” said Matthews. “We are excited about the potential of this research and the impact it can have on our environment in the near future.”

Research objectives include the synthesis of chemically reactive core shell micro-particles, which will be evaluated in advanced energy processes in collaboration with Fan at OSU. Funds from the project will be used to train Howard University undergraduate and graduate students in the use of clean coal technology.

Matthews explained that completion of the proposed work will introduce a novel, low-cost and environmentally-friendly synthetic strategy for the preparation of core-shell particles. Including these particles in the chemical looping process will greatly minimize CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants and, consequently, reduce global warming. This will benefit not only the chemical looping combustion/gasification and post-combustion CO2 capture, but also many other related fossil energy conversion processes.