Researchers at Brown have been awarded $1.75 million to explore the potential of using carbon dioxide instead of fossil fuels in the production of common industrial chemicals. Advances could reduce the chemical industry’s carbon footprint and help stabilize production costs in the face of ever increasing fuel prices.
“The goal is to find new ways to produce some of the world’s largest-volume chemicals from a sustainable carbon source that the earth not only has in excess but urgently needs to reduce,” said Tayhas Palmore, professor of engineering and principal investigator on the grant.
The funding comes from the National Science Foundation’s Centers for Chemical Innovation Program. The research team includes Wesley Bernskoetter, Christoph Rose-Petruck, Dwight Sweigart, and Shouheng Sun from the Department of Chemistry, as well as Robert Hurt and Andrew Peterson from the School of Engineering and Nilay Hazari from the Department of Chemistry at Yale. The team is administered by Brown’s Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation (IMNI).