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Lab photoWANTED: Highly innovative, somewhat risky research that could have a significant impact on lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

How does GCEP decide what to fund? Take a look inside GCEP’s 2011 request for proposals in carbon capture and the step-by-step process that resulted in close to $5 million in new funding.

First, GCEP Research Theme Leaders (experts in their technical fields), Stanford faculty and the GCEP technical team searched for the research opportunities in the area of carbon capture that might have the greatest impact on reducing global CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. They reviewed the latest research, attended conferences and talked to experts to define the key topics in the carbon capture field that they would like to learn more about: systems analysis, alternative combustion approaches, membrane technology, adsorption, absorption and CO2 as a feedstock.

Then, GCEP brought together carbon capture experts from the scientific community and industry to discuss these topics in depth at a two-day workshop attended by over 100 participants at Stanford University.

Based on the feedback from the workshop, GCEP issued a request for preproposals looking for promising and novel research concepts in the area of “Carbon Mitigation through Carbon Capture, Systems Optimization and Alternative Processes.” This call was sent to leading researchers at Stanford University and other academic institutions around the world that the GCEP technical staff had identified as having particular expertise in these specific areas.

26 pre-proposals were received and reviewed by GCEP staff. 16 full proposals were solicited from this pool and reviewed by two independent panels and a group of Sponsor technical experts from industry in a review process established by GCEP.

On the basis of the three sets of expert reviews and their own evaluation, the GCEP technical team suggested that three of the most promising carbon capture proposals and one exploratory effort be funded. The GCEP recommendations were submitted as a slate to the Sponsor Management Committee for review and approval.

At its meeting at Stanford University, the Sponsor Management Committee approved the GCEP recommendations and agreed to fund the carbon capture efforts at a total of $4.9 million. Once the contracts are finalized between Stanford and the research institutions conducting the research, the new awards will be announced publicly.

WANTED IN 2012: The GCEP Research Theme Leaders, faculty and technical staff seek the research opportunities that might have the greatest potential for significantly lowering global greenhouse gas emissions in two other areas:

  • novel opportunities in electron-chemical energy conversions
  • energy supply with co-benefits and negative emissions

Plans are underway for GCEP to hold two workshops in these areas with leaders from the science community and industry later this year.

 
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