Professor Christodoulos A. Floudas, director of the Texas A&M Energy Institute and the Erle Nye ’59 Chair Professor for Engineering Excellence in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, presented the 2015 Danckwerts Lecture at the 10th European Congress of Chemical Engineering (ECCE10) in Nice, France on September 28, 2015. ECCE10 was held in conjunction with the 3rd European Congress of Applied Biotechnology (ECAB3) and the 5th European Process Intensification Conference (EPIC5).
His presentation, “Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration: A Multi-scale Grand Challenge,” introduced a multi-scale energy systems engineering framework for addressing the grand challenge of CO2 capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) at an individual process level and at the supply chain network level. Floudas outlined how CCUS could potentially cut carbon emissions in half, at an affordable price.
In his delivery of the prestigious 2015 Danckwerts Memorial Lecture, Professor Floudas said that we “need to take a multi-scale systems viewpoint” in order to develop an optimal solution for CCUS, both on a nationwide and regional basis.
The multi-step process that could reduce man-made carbon emissions from large stationary sources (e.g. power plants, refineries, and iron and steel production plants) provides a model for developing CCUS solutions that can be scaled to suit carbon sources of all sizes.
To arrive at an optimal CCUS solution, engineers need to screen materials, optimize the process, select the optimal technology from the available options, and design a supply chain network. At each stage, they need to check and compare the costs.
Professor Rafiqul Gani, president of the European Federation of Chemical Engineering (EFCE), said, “This year’s Danckwerts Memorial Lecture demonstrated a viable solution to grand challenge of carbon capture utilization and sequestration that our society faces today. And I am delighted that such an eminent professor and his work served as a fitting tribute to all that Professor Danckwerts stood for.”
The Danckwerts Lecture was established in 1985 to honor Prof. Peter V. Danckwerts as a leading scholar in the field of chemical engineering and for his contributions as an Executive Editor of Chemical Engineering Science, the second Shell Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Cambridge, and past president of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE). It is co-sponsored by Chemical Engineering Science, IChemE, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and the European Federation of Chemical Engineering (EFCE).
Professor Floudas is a world-renowned authority in mathematical modeling and optimization of complex systems. His research interests lie at the interface of chemical engineering, applied mathematics, and operations research, with principal areas of focus including multi-scale systems engineering for energy and the environment, chemical process synthesis and design, process operations, discrete-continuous nonlinear optimization, local and global optimization, and computational chemistry and molecular biology.
He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for teaching and research, including election to the National Academy of Engineering in 2011, selection as a member of TAMEST (The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Sciences of Texas) in 2015, and induction as a Corresponding Member of the Academy of Athens in 2015. Among other recognitions, Floudas was the recipient of the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1988, the 2001 AIChE Professional Progress Award for Outstanding Progress in Chemical Engineering, the 2006 AIChE Computing in Chemical Engineering Award, and he was named a Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher in 2014 for the 11 years between 2002-2012 and again in 2015.
The European Federation of Chemical Engineering contributed to this article.