Transforming Energy Lectures


Tuesday, March 15, 2017
1113 Computer and Space Science
Dr. Richard Axelbaum

Washington University, St. Louis
“Next-Generation Technologies for Carbon Capture and Storage”


Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is an essential technology for stabilizing atmospheric CO2 levels, yet the cost of electricity (COE) from first generation technologies is high. The need for CCS will first be demonstrated in this talk and then a next-generation, lower cost technology for Carbon Capture will be introduced.

The technology, the Staged, Pressurized Oxy-Combustion (SPOC) process, incorporates pressurized combustion and fuel staging to maximize efficiency and minimize the COE. Pressurization allows the latent heat of the water vapor in the flue gas to be captured and utilized in the steam cycle. Fuel staging allows for increased control of the temperature and heat transfer during combustion, and eliminates the need for other temperature control processes. The fuel staging continues until nearly all of the oxygen is consumed. Despite very high flame temperatures, wall heat flux is controlled by radiative trapping.

 A techno-economic assessment indicates that the process is technologically feasible, the efficiency is high, and the cost of electricity with 90% carbon capture can be held within 35% of the existing COE without carbon capture. Systems modelling, experiments and CFD simulations of the combustion process will be presented.

more information here


The Energy Research Center sponsors the Transforming Energy Lecture Series to facilitate a broad discussion on the engineering challenges of developing breakthrough energy technology for a sustainable future.  In partnership with the Clark School of Engineering, UMERC hosts leading thinkers and technologists from academia, industry, and government.  These lectures provide viewpoints on energy challenges and discuss exciting new scientific and engineering breakthroughs that may impact the future development of a sustainable energy infrastructure for our nation. The lectures, held once per monthl on the University of Maryland campus, are open to all interested parties in the D.C. area.

The nation's security and economic health are dependent upon access to stable, secure sources of affordable energy. Increasing global demand for energy and the looming peak in global production of readily accessible fossil fuels (other than coal) present the greatest of engineering challenges — to develop a future sustainable energy infrastructure. For our nation, the development of breakthrough energy technologies provides the best hope for achieving both a sustainable energy infrastructure and increased independence from foreign fuel sources. Investments in energy science and engineering will be critical for establishing sustainable domestic fuel supplies and improved efficiency for environmentally-friendly energy conversion devices while sustaining our economic health. Such "solutions" to the energy crisis will almost certainly require implementation of multiple emerging technologies (e.g. biomass, solar technology, advanced nuclear reactors, fuel cells, etc.) that will impact specific energy sectors in different ways.

Past Speakers - link

All are welcome to attend the Transforming Energy Lectures, no RSVP is required.  Please email or call 301-405-4799 with your questions.  Directions to campus can be found here, use the University of Maryland's TerpNav interactive map to find your way to the lecture buildings.