Mechanical Engineering Student Awarded NSF Travel Grant

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Mechanical Engineering graduate student Harish Ganapathy

Department of Mechanical Engineering graduate student Harish Ganapathy has been awarded a travel grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The travel grant will enable Harish, a Ph.D. candidate advised by Professor Michael Ohadi, to attend the NSF 2013 Student Poster Symposium held November 15-21 in San Diego, CA, and present his research on “High Efficiency Carbon Capture Using Novel Microscale Surfaces."

Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) is a set of technologies essential for reducing CO2 emissions from coal and gas-fired power plants and other industrial sources. Ganapathy's research focuses on the "capture" stage of CCS, which is the largest cost component of CCS. This area of research is critical given the recently proposed EPA standards that are part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan that will limit CO2 emissions to between 1000-1100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour for various categories of new fossil fuel-fired power plants.

Ohadi and his team have developed a new generation of microreactors for high efficiency carbon capture that feature several orders of magnitude enhancement in mass transfer coefficient compared to conventional absorption technologies due to the microreactor's high interfacial area. In addition to CCS applications, the team's research has also received attention from the natural gas industry, where ultra-sour streams having high acid gas (CO2, H2S) compositions need efficient and economic separation techniques.

The NSF 2013 Student Poster Symposium is an annual event at the American Society of Mechanical Engineer's (ASME) International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition (IMECE). IMECE is a premier global conference that focuses on today's technical challenges, research updates and breakthrough innovations that are shaping the future of engineering. The Congress convenes engineers, scientists and technologists of all disciplines for the purposes of exploring solutions to global challenges and for the advancement of engineering excellence worldwide.

For more information on IMECE, visit their website.

Published November 11, 2013