March 6, 2024

Schulich prof hopes to help foster sustainable future through carbon capture

Nader Mahinpey says developing storage technology will help grow a strong economy
A man in a suit smiles at the camera
Nader Mahinpey Samantha Lafleur

A Schulich School of Engineering professor hopes carbon capture and storage (CCS) will help protect the environment while growing the economy.

CCS is a process that reduces climate change by capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from burning fossil fuels in power generation and industrial processes. The captured CO2 is then transported via pipelines, ships or trucks and stored in geological formations deep underground. The CCS process works with the oil and gas sector to allow for more-sustainable production.

“Traditional energy companies can work with CCS in several ways to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change,” says Dr. Nader Mahinpey, PhD, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

“This can be the implementation of different technologies in different industries such oil and gas, power plants, cement industries, steel industries, and agriculture. Also, companies support the construction of pipelines for transporting captured CO2 from industrial facilities to storage sites.”

A group of people stand in a line in front of a red wall smiling at the camera

Nader Mahinpey and his team of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and research associates.

Samantha Lafleur

Although CCS technologies can be currently demonstrated, there are still many barriers to overcome before they are put into regular use, which is exactly what Mahinpey and his team of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and research associates are hoping to find solutions for. These barriers include cost, scale and infrastructure, energy requirements, technology maturity, policy framework, and public acceptance.

“We are working on the development of different technologies as there is no one technology that can provide the only solution for all industries,” says Mahinpey. 

“Within the various investigated CCS technologies, we are targeting different aspects of the processes ranging from the cost of the materials, materials synthesis and performance, to process analysis and life-cycle assessment of energy systems and valuable products. 

“Primarily, the target of these investigations is to push CCS technologies into higher technology-readiness levels to allow for more sustainable processes within the energy sector and other industrial sectors, as well.”

Not only will CCS help protect the environment and support the growth of existing energies, but Mahinpey says it will also support job growth and strengthen the economy. 

“CCS projects require a range of skilled workers in various sectors, including engineering, construction, project management, operations and maintenance,” he says. “As CCS technologies are developed and deployed, they create job opportunities in these fields, both in the initial construction phase and throughout the operational lifespan of CCS facilities.” 

Mahinpey and his team are looking forward to continuing to develop their research and hoping to make a sustainable difference in the future.

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