Tag Archives: Ali Seifitokaldani

Pulp and paper waste for scrubbing carbon from emissions

This first news release is a little short but the next one is one of the shortest I can recall seeing. First, a February 1, 2024 Canadian Light Source (CLS) news release by Victoria Martinez,

Researchers at McGill University have come up with an innovative approach to improve the energy efficiency of carbon conversion, using waste material from pulp and paper production. The technique they’ve pioneered using the Canadian Light Source at the University of Saskatchewan not only reduces the energy required to convert carbon into useful products, but also reduces overall waste in the environment.

“This is a new field,” says Roger Lin, a graduate student in chemical engineering “We are one of the first groups to combine biomass recycling or utilization with CO2 capture.” The research team, from McGill’s Electrocatalysis Lab, published their findings in the journal RSC [Royal Society of Chemistry] Sustainability.

Capturing carbon emissions is one of the most exciting emerging tools to fight climate change. The biggest challenge is figuring out what to do with the carbon once the emissions have been removed, especially since capturing CO2 can be expensive. The next hurdle is that transforming CO2 into useful products takes energy. Researchers want to make the conversion process as efficient and profitable as possible.

“For these reactions, it really matters that we target energy efficiency,” says Amirhossein Farzi, a PhD student in chemical engineering at McGill. “The highest burden on the profitability of these reactions and these processes is usually how energy efficient they are.”

Farzi, Lin, and their research team focused their efforts on changing out one of the most energy-intensive parts of the carbon conversion process.

Because the approach is so new, there are many questions to answer about how to get the purest outputs and best efficiency. The team used CLS beamlines to observe chemical reactions in real-time, mimicking industrial processes as closely as possible.

The researchers hope to expand the range of products that can be made with CO2, and help develop a truly green technology.

“If we use a renewable energy source like hydro, wind, or solar …then in the end, we have really a carbon negative process,” says Lin.

Then, there was a March 27, 2024 McGill University news release (also on EurekAlert but published April 8, 2024), which is more succinct,

Researchers at McGill University have come up with an innovative approach to improve the energy efficiency of carbon conversion, using waste material from pulp and paper production. The technique they’ve pioneered using the Canadian Light Source at the University of Saskatchewan not only reduces the energy required to convert carbon into useful products, but also reduces overall waste in the environment.

“We are one of the first groups to combine biomass recycling or utilization with CO2 capture,” said Ali Seifitokaldani, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Electrocatalysis for Renewable Energy Production and Conversion. The research team, from McGill’s Electrocatalysis Lab, published their findings in the journal RSC Sustainability.

Capturing carbon emissions is one of the most exciting emerging tools to fight climate change. The biggest challenge is figuring out what to do with the carbon once the emissions have been removed, especially since capturing CO2 can be expensive. The next hurdle is that transforming CO2 into useful products takes energy. Researchers want to make the conversion process as efficient and profitable as possible.

Here’s a link to and a citation for the paper,

Efficient integration of carbon dioxide reduction and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural oxidation at high current density by Roger Lin, Haoyan Yang, Hanyu Zheng, Mahdi Salehi, Amirhossein Farzi, Poojan Patel, Xiao Wang, Jiaxun Guo, Kefang Liu, Zhengyuan Gao, Xiaojia Li, Ali Seifitokaldani. RSC Sustainability, 2024; 2 (2): 445 DOI: 10.1039/D3SU00379E First published online: 13 Dec 2023

This paper is open access.

H/t April 8, 2024 news item on ScienceDaily