Microbial and electrochemical pathways toward carbon circularity
(onsite and online)
Professor Zhiyong Jason Ren
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date & Time
Friday, 2 June 2023
Tam Wing Fan Innovation Wing Two
G/F, Run Run Shaw Building, HKU
Carbon circularity and net zero emissions require the re-valorization of waste carbon while keeping the fossil carbon underground. Environmental engineers are uniquely positioned to lead sustainable carbon management. Modern waste treatment is evolving from the “removal-centred” approach to more “recovery-oriented” processes, and the abundant and low-cost electricity from renewable sources brought new opportunities to convert “electrons to molecules”. How to leverage renewable electrons to maximize waste and CO2 valorization has become an emerging research front. In this talk, I will share some recent progress in identifying the synergy between renewable energy and waste carbon valorization, such as renewable H2 production to fill a major gap in energy storage, electrolysis using impaired water sources, electrocatalytic membrane electrodes for resource recovery, and data science tools for material discovery and operation optimization.
Prof. Zhiyong (Jason) Ren (@zjasonren, https://ren.princeton.edu/) is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University, and he serves as the Associate Director for the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. Prof. Ren’s research focuses on the decarbonization and digitalization of the environmental and chemical sectors. His group uses electrochemistry, microbiology, and data science tools to gain insights into the fundamental determining factors, and they develop models and technologies for resource recovery during environmental and chemical processes. Prof. Ren has received numerous recognitions with the latest including the 2020 Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize and the 2021 Paul L. Busch Award. He is an Associate Editor for Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T) and ES&T Letters.