SFI National Challenge Fund: Lumiscarb – Decarbonising Energy Systems and the Atmosphere by Capturing CO₂ and Converting it into Sustainable Biofuels using Solar Energy.
23 February 2023
In a follow-up to our SFI National Challenge Fund news, we would like to highlight the work of Dr Subhash Chandra, and Dr Liwen Xiao. These researchers, both from The Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at Trinity College Dublin's School of Engineering, have been awarded a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) National Climate Challenge Fund award for their pioneering project aimed at decarbonizing energy systems by capturing and converting the carbon into sustainable biofuel.
The Lumiscarb project will develop a solution-focused and nature-based next-generation photobioreactor to capture and convert CO2 into bioenergy using solar energy. Subsequently, bioenergy is into clean and sustainable biofuels.
The most striking feature of Lumiscarb is the innovative and unique light-management technology that can efficiently utilise every photon of the solar spectrum to capture CO2 to enhance solar-to-bioenergy efficiency. Furthermore, its versatile design with low footprints and ease of customisation for integration into different energy systems, power plants, homes, and buildings to decarbonise.
Carbon dioxide (CO₂) is the most significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, contributing 61.0%. Emissions of CO₂ are primarily due to the combustion of fossil fuels in all sectors, energy generation and transportation. The Lumiscarb Team are hoping to capture these CO₂ emissions and convert them into sustainable biofuel. This will help in two areas; to decarbonize energy generation systems, and difficult-to-decarbonize areas such as freight transport, aviation, and industrial processes.
The award from SFI is a recognition of the important role that research and innovation can play in addressing the urgent challenge of climate change. With projects like this, researchers are taking an active role in developing practical and effective solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment.