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Champions of Sustainability

By Lindsey Doermann
December 5, 2022

Working at the nanoscale up to the systems level, UW chemical engineers are focused on speeding the adoption of renewable power, slashing energy demands of industrial processes, and so much more. Here’s a glimpse into how chemical engineers are leading the charge to a more sustainable future.

illustration of engineering microbe genomes

Retooling microbes to upcycle CO2

An interdisciplinary, UW-led team of synthetic biologists is engineering microbial genomes to transform CO2 into high-value chemicals.

laptop battery icon

Battery Data Genome

Invoking the Human Genome Project of the 1990s, the proposed Battery Data Genome aims to unify data acquisition and sharing practices across the battery community — and accelerate engineering of the next generation of batteries.

perovskite solar cell in the lab

Artificial intelligence to improve clean energy

ChemE’s are applying their AI skill set to identify, understand and predict the failure modes of perovskite solar cells and solid oxide fuel cells. New insights could remove barriers to commercialization.

shell of a marine organism

Mimicking nature to store carbon dioxide in minerals

Reaching carbon-negative goals requires finding new ways to capture carbon from the environment and store it. One approach is to convert CO2 gas into stable solids.

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An open-source Python software package uses geographical information, ridership numbers, and vehicle acceleration data to model how electric bus batteries perform over different routes.

distillation plant

Decarbonizing industrial chemistry

Industrial separations and distillations currently account for 10-15% of global energy use, but advanced membrane-based technologies can eat away at that big chunk of the emissions pie.