Four CMC students funded to attend UK summer school

Anna Harrison and Dr. Greg Dipple

Four Carbon Management Canada graduate students from across the country have been accepted to attend the UK Energy Research Centre’s (UKERC) ninth annual Energy Summer School at the University of Warwick and will receive travel reimbursement from CMC.

The interdisciplinary summer school program has been specifically designed to give second year PhD students an opportunity to look beyond their own research and develop an understanding of energy systems as a whole and pathways to low-carbon and resilient energy systems. There are no tuitions fees for the school and the UKERC provides accommodation, meals and materials. CMC offered travel reimbursement of up to $2,000 for a limited number of students working on CMC-funded projects.

Travelling to the July summer school in the UK will be Paul Addo and Amir Bahman Radnejad, both from the University of Calgary, Anna Harrison from the University of British Columbia, and Abedeh Gholdoust, University of Alberta.

Paul Addo, a 2nd year PhD Chemistry student studying with Dr. Viola Birss at the University of Calgary, is excited about the opportunity to attend the school and values the interdisciplinary nature of the program.

“­­­I believe this summer school will give me the opportunity to augment my knowledge in the various technologies currently being employed to mitigate CO2 emissions. Also as a chemistry student I would like to broaden my knowledge and perspective on the geopolitical policies and challenges negating the rapid transition to carbon neutral based systems,” says Addo.

Addo’s research involves the development of reversible solid oxide fuel cell (RSOFC) based on a perovskite catalyst for the co-electrolysis of water and carbon dioxide to syngas. Reversible solid oxide fuel cells can run in both the electrolysis mode (SOEC) to electrolyze H2O to H2 or co-electrolyze CO2/H2O to syngas, when excess renewable energy is available and then run in fuel cell mode (SOFC) to convert H2, natural gas or syngas to electricity and heat.

Anna Harrison, a 2nd year PhD student in Geology, is hoping to gain a broader understanding of energy systems. Harrison recognizes the benefits of collaborating with other researchers and is looking forward to meeting colleagues from other disciplines and countries.

“The school will help provide context as to how scientific research regarding CO2 sequestration fits into the global issue of developing a sustainable energy future, and offer guidance as to the introduction of these technologies into the global marketplace. In particular, I would like to learn more about the political and economic challenges related to the development of a low-carbon global energy system,” says Harrison.

Through her work with supervisor Dr. Greg Dipple, Harrison is investigating the potential to accelerate carbon mineralization reactions in Mg-rich mine tailings to offset the greenhouse gas emissions of mining operations. Sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide occurs passively under normal mining conditions at certain mine sites. If these passive rates are accelerated, large mines have the potential to more than offset their CO2 emissions.  She is using experiments and reactive transport modeling to investigate methods to exploit the inherent sequestration capacity of mine tailings.