2018 Donald L. Katz Lectureship in Chemical Engineering
Presented by Emily A. Carter, Princeton University
Lecture Title: "Mechanisms for Sustainable Fuel and Chemical Production from First Principles"
Someday the world’s liquid fuels needed for ships and airplanes will come from sustainable sources and low-energy processing. We are far from that day. While that fact is unfortunate, it opens up exciting opportunities for researchers from many different fields to work together to realize that vision. I will report on some of my research group’s contributions toward this goal, as we develop and apply quantum mechanics-based simulation methods to unravel mechanisms associated with (photo) electrochemical water oxidation and carbon dioxide reduction at semiconductor electrodes and plasmon-catalyzed bond breaking over metal nanoparticles. The talk will focus primarily on CO2 photoelectroreduction to fuel precursors but will also outline the potential for plasmonic catalysis to replace, e.g., the energy-intensive Haber-Bosch process. This latter work illustrates the potential to develop a non-thermal, low-pressure, visible-light-based approach to ammonia synthesis and hence to sustainable fertilizer production.
Emily A. Carter is the Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment, as well as Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Applied and Computational Mathematics at Princeton University. Her research focuses on developing and applying accurate, efficient quantum mechanics methods that enable discovery and design of materials for sustainable energy. She received her B.S. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley in 1982 (Phi Beta Kappa) and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Caltech in 1987. After a year as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Colorado, Boulder, she spent 16 years at UCLA as a Professor of Chemistry and later also of Materials Science and Engineering. She moved to Princeton University in 2004, where she was the Founding Director of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment from 2010-2016. The author of over 360 publications, she has delivered over 500 invited and plenary lectures all over the world and serves on advisory boards spanning a wide range of disciplines. Her scholarly work has been recognized by awards from a variety of entities, including the American Chemical Society, the American Physical Society, the Institute of Physics, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Italian Chemical Society, the German Chemical Society, and the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science. Professor Carter was elected in 2008 to both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences, and in 2016 to the National Academy of Engineering. You can learn more about her at http:///carter.princeton.edu.