Researchers from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, are partnering with Lithoz America, Troy, New York, and Dimensional Energy, a Cornell startup also based in Ithaca, to develop additively manufactured ceramics that can be used in a process that turns carbon emissions into clean energy. Led by Dr Sadaf Sobhani, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell University, the project has been awarded a $50,000 grant from FuzeHub, a not-for-profit organisation established to help business growth in New York state.
Dimensional Energy is reported to use energy reactors to convert carbon dioxide into chemicals that can be processed into greener fuel for the aviation industry. The company has seen support from United Airlines and other investors, but still faces challenges in scaling its technology.
“Excellent thermal properties and corrosion resistance make ceramics attractive for these reactors, but significant design constraints limit their actual performance,” Sobhani stated. “The freedom of design and choice of materials enabled by ceramic Additive Manufacturing will narrow the theory-performance gap to hit the desired milestones.”
The FuzeHub grant will be used to develop advanced ceramics for Additive Manufacturing that are better able to withstand the operating environments of clean energy reactors, targeting specialised thermocatalytic reactors like those used by Dimensional Energy.
“I’m really looking forward to bringing our research to a market setting, and in particular to help create more environmentally responsible fuels and chemicals,” Sobhani added.
Elena Garuc, Executive Director, FuzeHub, concluded, “Stronger domestic production supports a more resilient economy. During this round of Manufacturing Grants, many of the projects that were selected involved advanced materials. As awardees work to solve technical challenges, they’re also supporting the onshoring of production, which is crucial for supply chain resiliency, especially in these post-pandemic times.”