As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, please join the Earth Institute, Columbia University, and viewers from around the globe for an interactive live webcast on Wed, April 22, 2020 10:00 AM EST. RSVP

Noyonika and Soyoung join the Park Group as Ph.D. Candidates. Welcome!

Congratulations to Emily for defending her Ph.D. thesis titled Sustainable Transformation and Recovery of Unconventional Resources in Natural and Waste Systems Utilizing CO2.

Sujin joins us as a visiting student from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) in Korea. Welcome!

Congratulations to Sara Hamilton for passing her qualifier exam on her work on Nanoparticle Organic Hybrid Materials as Electrolytes for Sustainable Energy Storage

Peng joins the Park Group as a Post Doc, from University of Minnesota. His project focuses on Rare Earth Elements from Electronic Waste. Welcome!

Congratulations Prof. Li, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Saint Peter's University - New Jersey

Congratulations to Chengchuan for defending his Ph.D. thesis titled Enhanced Extraction of Alkaline Metals and Rare Earth Elements from Unconventional Resources during Carbon Sequestration.

PALISADES, NEW YORK — Peter Kelemen spends time in Oman looking for ways to pull carbon out of the air and put it back underground. His colleague, David Goldberg, looks at ways to store it far below the sea floor off the Oregon coast. Chemical engineer Alissa Park is working with steel mills in China to turn slag and waste carbon dioxide into reusable material.

The goal of all three Columbia University researchers — and thousands of other scientists and engineers globally — is to find ways to pull some of the carbon dioxide that’s causing global warming out of the atmosphere and store it away. It’s called carbon capture and storage, and experts increasingly say it’s going to be essential to saving the planet.

Carbon capture and storage might sound like the plot of a crazy science-fiction movie, one where an intrepid band of risk-takers swoops in to save the Earth from certain destruction with engineering, grit and (in some scenarios) good old American know-how.

On May 25, 2017, Columbia University and Baotou Steel launched the joint-venture pilot project at the Columbia Beijing Center. This event consisted of a panel discussion and press conference. Details of the groundbreaking new technology and the planning of the pilot in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region were discussed for the first time by Columbia engineering researchers, Alissa Park and Xiaozhou Zhou. The pilot project will start construction in Bao Steel plants in Inner Mongolia in the summer of 2017 and is expected to be finished in the summer of 2018. The pilot project aims to test and commercialize the technology that could turn iron and steel slags into safe materials to be used in other industrial processes.

Over 40 people were invited and attended the meeting, including Professor Alissa Park and Dr. Zhou Xiaozhou from Columbia University, Mr. Wei Shuanshi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from Baotou Steel, Jock Whittlesey from U.S. Embassy Beijing, representatives from National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Board of Expert Committee Members. The full-day event included a technology-to-market roundtable discussion and the joint-venture launch and news briefing.

For more information about this EcoPartnership, please click here. For news release in Chinese, please click here.

Congratulations to Ming Gao for defending his Ph.D. thesis titled Novel Liquid-Like Nanoscale Hybrid Materials with Tunable Chemical and Physical Properties as Dual-Purpose Reactive Media for Combined Carbon Capture and Conversion

China currently manufactures half of the world’s iron and steel through a process that leaves enormous amounts of waste, or slag, to accumulate in landfills or in stockpiles out in the open where its toxic elements may cause environmental and health problems. In partnership with a major iron and steel company in China, two Columbia engineering researchers hope to repurpose some of this slag for use in a range of industries, including paper, plastic, paint, cement, oil, and gas.

In late December 2016, executives from China’s Baotou Iron and Steel (Group) Co. visited the Columbia Engineering lab of Ah-Hyung (Alissa) Park and Xiaozhou (Sean) Zhou to see the operation of a prototype processing unit designed by Park and Zhou to repurpose slag. Their goal is to turn wastes of steel and iron manufacturing into reusable materials through a chemical process that integrates the processes of mineral carbonation and rock weathering. They also hope to reduce overall carbon emissions by using industrially emitted carbon dioxide (CO2) as one of the reactants.

“We are working with Baotou Steel on an exciting project that uses our carbon sequestration technology to treat their iron and steel slag,” says Park, associate professor of earth and environmental engineering and chemical engineering and director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy. “The techniques we’ve developed have the potential to make iron and steel manufacturing substantially more sustainable—not only in China but globally.”