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EP/I018212/1 - Reverse engineering and synthesis of self-assembling photo-responsive surfactants for CO2 solubilization

Research Perspectives grant details from EPSRC portfolio

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Dr EA Muller EP/I018212/1 - Reverse engineering and synthesis of self-assembling photo-responsive surfactants for CO2 solubilization

Principal Investigator - Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London

Scheme

Standard Research

Research Areas

Chemical Reaction Dynamics and Mechanisms Chemical Reaction Dynamics and Mechanisms

Chemical Structure Chemical Structure

Computational & Theoretical Chemistry Computational & Theoretical Chemistry

Related Grants

EP/I018301/1

Start Date

06/2012

End Date

05/2014

Value

£168,022

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Grant Description

Summary and Description of the grant

A new way to control properties of liquid CO2 will be found. This will allow the liquid properties of CO2 to be remote-controlled, using light as a switch. Today, reduction in atmospheric CO2 levels is the greatest challenge facing scientists, engineers, politicians and economists.1 Of all the solutions proposed CO2 capture, sequestration and storage is recognized as a viable approach to control CO2 levels. However, CO2 entrapment and storage technologies will require efficient and effective command over the fluid properties of CO2; obviously, vast volumes of liquid CO2 will need to be handled and processed. For example, CO2 sequestration in sandstone or limestone reservoirs that occurs during CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) would be more economically viable and technically efficient if viscous fingering could be suppressed by thickening the CO2. Although on paper the concept appears to be straightforward, that is find scCO2-compatible additives, as is commonly done for water (soaps and detergents, synthetic and bio-polymers, salts and co-solvents), in practice there are significant physico-chemical barriers to overcome. What it all comes down to is the inescapable fact that feeble intermolecular interactions make CO2 a very weak solvent, being essentially in a class of its own when compared to water and any other polar or apolar organic solvents. The upshot is that most commercially available solutes are incompatible with scCO2, and so the scope for solvent modification using readily available additives is at best extremely limited. Simply put, CO2 is one of the most stubborn of all chemical beasts, and taming it presents a great chemical engineering challenge. This project will design and generate new additives (surfactants) which and be using external light: this will allow us to control the CO2 fluid properties at the flick of a switch , as this cannot be done using any of the currently available chemicals. . This would open the doors to optimization of CO2 for industrial chemistry processes, as an environmentally friendly solvent, and also for processing and handling fluid CO2 in carbon capture technologies, for effective subterranean storage.

Structured Data / Microdata


Grant Event Details:
Name: Reverse engineering and synthesis of self-assembling photo-responsive surfactants for CO2 solubilization - EP/I018212/1
Start Date: 2012-06-01T00:00:00+00:00
End Date: 2014-05-31T00:00:00+00:00

Organization: Imperial College London

Description: A new way to control properties of liquid CO2 will be found. This will allow the liquid properties of CO2 to be remote-controlled, using light as a switch. Today, reduction in atmospheric CO2 levels is the greatest challenge facing scientists, engineers, p ...