Jan. 10, 2014

Dr. Nader Mahinpey receives NSERC funding

$583,082 over three years towards innovative carbon capture research

Two University of Calgary researchers, Nader Mahinpey and Zongpeng Li , will share more than $1 million from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada to support their projects on, respectively, innovative capture of carbon dioxide and overcoming challenges in “cloud computing.”

“The strategic investments we’re announcing today will allow companies to increase their R&D activities in Canada by accessing the expertise and knowledge of scientific teams at universities,” said Minister of State (Science and Technology) Greg Rickford.

This funding encourages collaborative research between academic researchers and industry and government partners focusing on four main strategic areas: environmental science and technologies; information and communications technologies; manufacturing; and natural resources and energy.

“We are proud of both these researchers and their leading-edge projects and thank NSERC for its support,” said Ed McCauley, vice-president (research), University of Calgary.

“These projects exemplify the calibre of work that will help the University of Calgary achieve its Eyes High goal to become one of Canada’s top five research universities,” adds McCauley.

Dr. Nader Mahinpey – Schulich School of Engineering

Nader Mahinpey, associate professor and associate head (research) of chemical and petroleum engineering in the Schulich School of Engineering, is receiving a NSERC Strategic Project Grant of $583,082 over three years, toward developing a novel integrated approach to energy production and gasification, the process which converts organic or fossil-based carbon material into carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

His approach combines gasification technology with newly created solid absorbent materials to provide cost-effective solutions for capturing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2). He will use pilot-plant studies to take laboratory-scale knowledge to what’s required for commercialization.

“This proposed solution will address major challenges that hinder transformative innovation in the area of CO2 capture, with benefits to Canada’s economy, energy and environment,” said Mahinpey, who leads the Energy and Environment Research Group at the University of Calgary.

A common method of capturing CO2 in industrial processes involves wet scrubbing of flue gases with chemicals (amine solvents). However, this causes a serious loss in process thermodynamic efficiency, so is unlikely to be cost-effective on a large scale.

Mahinpey’s approach uses a “dry process” to capture CO2. The technology is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lead to sustainable production of hydrogen, and involve the training of highly qualified personnel for Canada’s natural resources and energy sectors.