Ted Sargent

University of Toronto
Project Title: Computational high-throughput screening of catalyst materials for renewable fuel and feedstock Generation
Industry Partner: Hydrogenics
Project Title: Atomic-scale modeling of halide perovskites for optoelectronics and photovoltaics
Industry Partners: IBM Canada Ltd., others

Platform: Agile Computing, Blue Gene/Q
Advanced Manufacturing Energy

Computational high-throughput screening of catalyst materials for renewable fuel and feedstock Generation

According to a World Energy Council Report, population growth and rising standards of living across the world will at least double global energy demand by 2050. Simultaneously, carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced significantly to prevent a catastrophic rise in global temperatures. Clean and abundant renewable energy sources are available; unfortunately, the intermittency of solar and wind power is a prevailing problem which is limiting the potential for widespread use.

Our project seeks to address both of these issues through development of novel catalysts to electrochemically convert CO2 captured from power plants into fuels and other higher value chemical feedstocks using renewable electricity. This innovative strategy will (1) provide a long term storage solution by converting renewable electricity into a stable chemical fuel, (2) provide a means to intelligently recycle CO2 rather than storing it in deep underground aquifers, and (3) provide a cleaner and cheaper pathway for production of industrial chemical feedstocks and fuels. This could be a truly disruptive technology which would allow Canadian led manufacturing of high value chemicals and fuels in a low-cost and low-carbon fashion.
Additionally, there are large benefits to Canada’s energy sector by facilitating the dispatchability of renewable power.

Atomic-scale modeling of halide perovskites for optoelectronics and photovoltaics

The proposed applied research is of strategic importance to Ontario. The government of Ontario has repeatedly affirmed its commitment to creating a culture of environmental sustainability in the province, most recently via the Long-Term Energy Plan (2012). The Long-Term Energy Plan sets a 20-year course for Ontario’s clean energy future, and its priorities include the continued development of a diverse supply mix, including more renewable energy sources, fostering a culture of energy-efficiency, and encouraging the development of a clean energy economy. It specifically “encourages the development of renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar, hydro and bio-energy.” Efficient and economical photovoltaic systems such as those that will be facilitated via this project will play a very important role in realizing this objective. The proposed research will further support Ontario’s economy by generating new opportunities in the advanced materials and solar technology sectors, and by training a cadre of highly qualified personnel who will be poised to assume positions of global leadership in these industries.