Researchers from the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, in collaboration with the National Energy Technology Laboratory, have been selected to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to accelerate the development of marine carbon dioxide removal (mCDR) capture and storage technologies.
The Pitt team will receive $2,274,859 to develop buoy-based fiber optic sensors to measure pH and carbon dioxide in seawater from the ocean surface to the seafloor. Paul Ohodnicki, RK Mellon Faculty Fellow in Energy and associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Pitt, is leading the project. He expressed excitement about applying technology traditionally developed for industrial and infrastructure applications to our oceans.
The project aims to develop new chemical sensing fibers for distributed sensing applications, building on a decade of previous research and collaborations between NETL and the Swanson School. The researchers also plan to integrate with mobile marine sensor systems to monitor geochemical processes within the ocean environment at depths of kilometers.
This opportunity will allow scientists to gain a better understanding of how oceans efficiently capture CO2 and apply that knowledge to quantify the ability of marine processes to remove CO2 from the atmosphere on a large scale. According to Ruishu Wright, NETL Research Scientist and Technical Portfolio Leader, distributed fiber optic multi-parameter sensing will provide a powerful tool for monitoring, reporting, and verifying the effectiveness of marine carbon removal.
Khurram Naeem, research professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Pitt, highlighted that modern sensor technology can provide more accurate data by being in the ocean rather than orbiting on a satellite. He emphasized that distributed fiber optic sensors act as a wired radar network with high spatial resolution, light weight, and low power requirements.
This project aligns with the spirit of the University of Pittsburgh Infrastructure Sensing Collaboration established in 2022 as well as a memorandum of understanding between NETL and Pitt signed in early 2023. U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm has expressed support for innovative climate solutions such as using natural carbon removal capacity in oceans to combat greenhouse gas pollution.
The ARPA-E funding will enable project teams across various states to develop innovative new technologies aimed at reducing emissions while strengthening America’s global leadership in clean energy industries.
According to this Source: technologynetworks
This article has been republished from this source: Note: Material may have been edited for length and content. For more information contact cited source.