Clarkson Professor Wins Prestigious Award for Project to Reduce and Remove Greenhouse Gas

February 17, 2023

Simona Liguori, assistant professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Clarkson University, has been awarded $50,000 from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and ClimateWorks Foundation for her project aimed at reducing CO2 emissions by converting it into valuable products.

headshot, Simona Liguori
Simona Liguori

The award is presented to 19 researchers throughout North America and Canada in the third year of the Scialog: Negative Emissions Science Initiative, which collects  multidisciplinary teams to advance fundamental science in the design of novel approaches for rapidly removing and utilizing or sequestering greenhouse gasses.

Liguori’s project aims to convert waste biogas into methanol—one of the most important materials in chemical synthesis—via negative Carbon Dioxide emission technologies. According to Liguori, a triple-intensified membrane reactor is designed to enable a negative-carbon footprint.

“The underlying vision and approach for using double membranes while reactions take place is to relax the thermodynamic constraints that both biogas reaction and methanol synthesis have,” she said. “This intensification will maximize the synergistic effects between partial processes and effectiveness of intermolecular events to bring the process closer to its quantum-leap goals for greener chemical engineering.”

Liguori’s project not only seeks to avoid CO2 emissions by converting the waste biogas into methanol, but also to intensify the process by requiring less energy and improving  the efficiency.

Simona Liguori is a faculty affiliate at Clarkson University’s Institute for a Sustainable Environment. She received her PhD and MS degrees for Chemical Engineering in Italy where she attended the University of Calabria. She did research at the Institute on Membrane Technology as a postdoc researcher. She has worked at several universities, passing on her knowledge in chemical and biological engineering. She was recently also granted the Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Women’s Young Investigator Fellowship and Carbon Footprint Challenge Award, and was named a Scialog Fellow for Negative Emissions Science.

Liguori’s research focuses on the development of inorganic membranes and membrane reactors, non-equilibrium reactions, gas separation, and negative emission technologies. She has published more than 40 peer-reviewed papers, as well as many publications, book chapters, and conference proceedings. She also currently holds two US patents.

To read more about the RCSA Award, click here.

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