Decarbonization of the chemical industry is challenging given that for many products, the feedstream is natural gas or petroleum. However, with technologies for CO2 capture and renewable H2 production envisioned, there is an opportunity to displace fossil fuels as the primary source of chemicals and fuels. Catalytic approaches have been studied for CO2 conversion, both in the thermal- and electro-catalysis areas. Here, we would study thermal catalysis approaches to convert CO2+H2 to CH4. This 'green' CH4 could then be used for energy production, and therefore this CH4 could be considered an energy storage vector (chemical energy storage), or in producing chemicals. Natural gas transportation and use infrastructure already exists, therefore not requiring massive investment as other new energy storage technologies will;  i.e. batteries. The fellow will work to compile an inventory of existing experimental data related to the reactions of interest. We will then build and calibrate machine learning models that will streamline assessment of how reaction parameters and catalyst properties influence performance metrics of interest. Then, based on insights from the machine learning model, we will explore new CO2+H2 catalyst designs through well-controlled catalyst synthesis strategies and reaction engineering (expertise stemming from ChE and Chem). Finally, we will develop a techno-economic assessment (TEA) model to contextualize how improvements in catalyst performance will influence overall system performance relative to various sustainability priorities

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Regional Hydroclimatic Changes 

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Energy Transitions


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Project Team

Image of Lisa Colosi Peterson
Colosi Peterson
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Engineering Systems & Environment
Image of William Epling
Professor, Department Chair Chemical Engineering
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