A technology to capture carbon dioxide from the air and convert it into a usable product won Princeton ECE junior Vinay Konuru an Outstanding Presentation Award at the 2023 Princeton Research Day.
Konuru partnered with Kelvin Green, a junior in civil and environmental engineering, to create a system that removes pollution from the atmosphere in a way that could be cheaply scaled for broad use. Current methods for direct air capture are expensive, and the main use for captured CO2 is in speeding up fossil fuel extraction, according to the team. Their solution efficiently captures CO2 and converts that gas into acetic acid, a valuable precursor to some of the world's most important industrial chemicals and the key ingredient in vinegar.
The video presentation of their project, "Building Negative Emissions Technology for a Green Economy," won one of five Outstanding Presentation Awards. This year, winning projects were selected from 128 total submissions. Winners were invited to present their work in more detail with a moderator live at the Awards Presentation on May 11. The five projects were awarded $1,500 each.
The project is advised by Kelsey Hatzell, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, and Jason Ren, professor of civil and environmental engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.