SEMINAR: Energy-Emissions Conflict and the Role of Materials

SEMINAR: Energy-Emissions Conflict and the Role of Materials


Speaker:Turgut M. Gür

Title:Energy-Emissions Conflict and the Role of Materials

Date/Time: 5 May 2021 / 08:40 - 09:30

Zoom: Meeting ID

Passcode: MAT405

Abstract: The conflict between our addiction to fossil fuels and combustion-related CO2 emissions has been on the global agenda on climate change for decades, but with limited progress. Clearly, unabated anthropogenic CO2 emissions now exceeding 37 Gt.yr-1 pose an existential threat to our carbon-constrained planet. Comprehensive measures at the global scale are imminently needed for rapid reduction and capture of CO2 emissions. One critical component of the climate mitigation strategy involves transitioning the energy economy and in particular, the power (electricity) generation sector, rapidly into renewable sources. But most renewables have variable, intermittent, and often unpredictable outputs that require energy storage technologies and materials for grid integration and wider deployment. Ironically, much of the public discourse in industrialized countries promotes renewables while exporting fossil fuels to others and ignoring the fact that CO2 emissions do not recognize geographic boundaries. Transforming major segments of the global energy economy to clean energy sources must involve a multi-prong strategy and technological diversity to assure energy security while tackling climate change and global warming. At the same time, it must also involve carbon capture and storage (CCS) to curb further accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere. Many of these technologies are critically dependent upon materials properties and performance. Hence, innovations in materials will be central to the collective effort in meeting our energy demands while reducing and capturing CO2 emissions. In that regard, high temperature fuel cells offer the opportunity to accomplish not only efficient conversion of fossil fuels but also full capture of CO2. With that background, I will portray the global landscape for energy and electricity production, and the formidable challenges posed by CO2 emissions. The talk will then focus on power generation and energy storage technologies and materials towards a sustainable future. I will present examples of nanostructuring tools for grain boundary, surface and interface engineering for improved efficiency and performance of energy conversion and storage systems.

Bio: Turgut Gür is an Adjunct Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University, where he provided leadership to three major multi-disciplinary research centers on advanced materials and energy for nearly two decades before he retired in 2017. He is currently a Board Director and the Vice President of The Electrochemical Society, and also an inducted Fellow of the Society. In addition, he holds a Visiting Professor appointment from the Chinese University of Mining and Technology-Beijing (CUMTB) in China, and an "international mentor" appointment from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway. He is an internationally recognized leader in high temperature electrochemical energy conversion and storage technologies, materials and processes with 11 US issued patents and 160 technical publications. He has also provided technical leadership to several start-up companies, including clean coal conversion, chemically assisted hydrogen production, industrial wastewater remediation, and RuO2-based supercapacitors. He holds BSc and MSc degrees in Chemical Engineering from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, and three graduate degrees including a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University.