Nov 26 2018

Leading Graham User Develops New Systems to Reduce CO2 Impact

Helping to minimize carbon footprint, University of Waterloo professor is developing systems for CO2 capture

In recent years the increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has been well documented. The heat-trapping gas associated with global climate change, is a key area of study for a researcher with the University of Waterloo who is designing next-generation tools in advanced manufacturing and energy sectors.

Dr. Luis Ricardez-Sandoval, an associate professor and Canada Research Chair in Chemical Engineering, uses supercomputer Graham to build innovative computational tools that will provide new insight and accelerate clean power generation technologies. One aim is to mitigate CO2 emissions by improving the design and operation’s management of industrially-relevant chemical processes. Dr. Ricardez-Sandoval and his team are leveraging Graham’s superior processing capabilities. They are able to retrieve new data by using multiscale modeling techniques—the coupling of systems that occur at different spatial and time scales.

“We are trying to find those rare events that seldomly occur in a system and for that we require a lot of computational power. Exploring and investigating reactions is time consuming. My appointment to the Canada Research Chair has granted me more access to SHARCNET and Graham.”

 

Luis Ricardez-Sandoval Photo Credit: uwaterloo.ca

By identifying these new occurrences and reactions, Dr. Ricardez-Sandoval is able to understand how fine(micro)-scale events impact CO2 emissions at a larger(macro)-scale. “We are trying to find those rare events that seldomly occur in a system and for that we require a lot of computational power. Exploring and investigating reactions is time consuming. My appointment to the Canada Research Chair has granted me more access to SHARCNET and Graham,” explains Dr. Ricardez-Sandoval.

The rate in which Graham has been able to generate results has largely advanced Dr. Ricardez-Sandoval’s research. He is developing materials that can reuse the captured CO2 to generate new valuable chemicals and fuels, also known as CO2 utilization. “We’re able to design materials that will allow us to improve CO2 capture for certain systems. This will reduce or curve global warming,” says Ricardez-Sandoval. His team is generating results at a pace that has never been achieved until now, and which will improve the efficiency and optimization of systems economically, environmentally, and socially. More details about Dr. Ricardez-Sandoval’s research can be found in his research group website.