Thermochemical Splitting of Water and Carbon Dioxide as a Scalable and Sustainable Climate Solution

Dr. Shang Zhai, Postdoctoral scholar in Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University

Shang Zhai

ABSTRACT: One of the biggest challenges for the 21st century is to meet people’s growing need for affordable energy, while mitigating climate change by decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at Gigaton (Gt) scale. Thermochemical processes are the only type of Gt-scale processes developed by human beings up to today. I believe it is imperative to create scalable and sustainable thermochemical cycles and transform the energy and chemical industries.
Cheap and carbon-free hydrogen is a critical missing piece to address the climate challenge. I will share material design strategies and technoeconomics of thermochemical splitting of water and carbon dioxide (CO2). At the material level, I tuned solid-solid phase transformation in oxides to give many times higher water/CO2 splitting capacity than conventional materials. At the system level, I identified critical performance metrics for producing carbon-free hydrogen that would be cost-competitive in today’s market. 
In the future, I plan to integrate thermal sciences, materials chemistry, and systems engineering to develop GHG-neutral systems and the materials to enable them. Applications include carbon-free hydrogen production, direct air capture of CO2, and high temperature heat pump.

BIO:  Dr. Shang Zhai is a postdoctoral scholar in Pr. Arun Majumdar’s lab in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. He obtained his PhD from Stanford in 2020. Shang is passionate about applying thermal sciences and materials chemistry to revolutionary technologies for a sustainable future. His research has focused on designing and understanding mixed metal oxides for thermochemical energy cycles, including water splitting, CO2 splitting and methane conversion.

Zoom Webinar ID:  70 4844 5715 and Passcode:  289052  

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