Liang Feng and Team Land Funding for Negative Emission Science Research

1/25/24 Pratt School of Engineering

News of the funded proposal came with an additional moment to celebrate with the Duke MEMS faculty member being named a Scialog Fellow for Negative Emission Science

Liang Feng of Duke University
Liang Feng and Team Land Funding for Negative Emission Science Research

The Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has announced several teams recommended for funding under their Scialog Negative Emission Science (NES) Program. 

The Scialog initiative, which gets its coined term from combining “science” and “dialogue,” jointly sponsored by the Sloan Foundation and the RCSA, fosters collaboration among early-career researchers dedicated to addressing challenges in greenhouse gas removal, utilization and sequestration.

Duke University’s Liang Feng, an assistant professor in the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, and team members from Georgia Tech and Oregon State University received $150,000 in direct costs to understand, quantify and mitigate carbon-capture adsorbent degradation.

About Liang Feng

Feng, a PhD graduate of Texas A&M University, has extensive experience in the synthesis and characterization of porous materials, such as porous polymer networks and metal-organic frameworks, for gas storage and separations. 

Liang Feng of Duke University
Liang Feng

His interdisciplinary work in materials science and engineering addresses global challenges in energy and environmental sustainability.

Feng’s focus involves creating innovative materials for carbon capture and developing sustainable strategies for their use.

During his postdoctoral stint at Northwestern University, and while working with Nobel laureate Sir Fraser Stoddart, he made a groundbreaking discovery of a new adsorption mechanism, transforming approaches to carbon capture and water remediation in non-equilibrium systems. 

At Duke, Feng remains dedicated to advancing clean energy solutions for a net-zero carbon future. He teaches a joint undergraduate-graduate course, ME 490/555 Carbon Management for Climate and Sustainability which explores advanced carbon cycle science and innovative net-zero technologies.

Liang Feng of Duke University

With this support, our team is excited to continue contributing to the Duke Climate Commitment with novel engineering solutions.

Liang Feng Assistant Professor in the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Addressing Urgent Climate Needs

His team’s proposal, titled “Understanding, Quantifying and Mitigating Adsorbent Degradation: From Fundamental Understanding to Techno-Economic Analysis,” emerged as one of seven recommended for funding out of 24 team proposals.

Their research aims to address the urgent need for innovative materials capable of selectively capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.

The escalating levels of CO2 in the atmosphere necessitate innovative solutions for capturing and mitigating its impact. Feng’s team focuses on investigating the degradation pathways of porous sorbents for carbon capture, utilizing a multidisciplinary approach involving experimental, modeling and techno-economic analyses. The ultimate goal is to develop stable, cost-effective adsorbents and assess their economic viability.

Feng‘s interdisciplinary research team includes passionate undergraduate students from across Duke, master’s students in materials science and environmental engineering, as well as PhD students and postdoctoral fellows with diverse training backgrounds.

“I am immensely grateful to the RCSA and Sloan Foundation for their recognition and funding support.” Feng said. “This support, our first external grant, enables us to advance the frontier of innovative carbon capture technology, emphasizing the urgency of tackling climate change and sustainability challenges. With this support, our team is excited to continue contributing to the Duke Climate Commitment with novel engineering solutions.”

The fourth conference of the NES series, scheduled for November in Tucson, Ariz., will provide a platform for experts to discuss challenges, celebrate breakthroughs, and ideate high-risk, high-reward projects. The initiative is pivotal in catalyzing advancements crucial for the efficient, affordable, and scalable removal of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

The funding announcement also included Feng’s selection as a Scialog Fellow for NES and acts as a testament to his commitment to advancing fundamental science in the field of negative emission technologies.

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