Student researchers in catalysis to tackle greenhouse gas emissions and to produce clean energy

June 11, 2021

Case Sandor and John Yeagar are working on the project entitled “Catalysis for Carbon-Neutral space Exploration”, to produce propulsion fuel molecules through cathode reactions and life-supply O2 through anode reactions in separated streams.

Four student researchers engaged in catalytic materials and reaction engineering research at Dr. Ming Yang’s group have been recently recognized by the university and external funding agencies for their ongoing research work that aims to tackle climate change and to harvest clean energies.

Luis Morales and John Yeager, junior undergraduate students, were recently accepted into Clemson’s 2021 Summer Creative Inquiry program and given the accompanying Undergraduate Research Award (CI & UR Award). Luis and John, through both thermocatalytic and electrocatalytic approaches, will investigate how chemical engineers can significantly cut CO2 greenhouse gas emissions by turning the CO2 into value-added products through cost-effective environmentally benign catalytic reactions.

Case Sandor, senior undergraduate student, is a recipient of the Undergraduate Student Award from South Carolina NASA Space Grant Consortium. The agency funded Case for 400 hours of research to develop catalytic materials and electrochemical reactors that can convert CO2 in space and cabin into renewable fuels so as to empower deep space exploration. Case will also participate in outreach/public engagement activities during his award period to advocate research and science to public.

Ewa Chukwu and Luis Morales are undertaking a thermocatalytic approach in the project entitled “Catalysis for Clean Manufacturing”. Their research seeks to optimize the selective reduction of CO2 to value-added carbon-based chemicals as building blocks for various industrial processes.

Ewa Chukwu, a first-year international PhD student, has been selected to participate in the Student Program at the 2021 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit sponsored by the US Department of Energy. The 2021 Student Program will include the top graduate-level students, an engaging panel discussion regarding a career in energy, a Meet & Greet to speak with energy industries, and many opportunities to learn about cutting-edge energy initiatives.

Congratulations Case, Ewa, John, and Luis! Full speed ahead!