The growing impacts of climate disruption—including more frequent and more intense storms and droughts—drive the search for ways to disrupt the disruption. This SyracuseCoE Research and Technology Form features two researchers whose work addresses economic and technological strategies for reducing carbon emissions:
Prof. Peter Wilcoxen will present results on the potential role a modest carbon tax could play as part of a tax reform initiative in the United States. The carbon tax analyzed would reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions substantially. The new revenue generated by the tax could be used to offset a reduction in the tax on capital income, which would lead to increased investment and GDP. Including a carbon tax in a tax reform package could thus reduce emissions while expanding the economy.
Ryan Falkenstein-Smith will describe the development of oxygen transport membranes (OTMs) that have the potential to revolutionize carbon capture technology at minimal energy sacrifice and financial cost. OTMs act as air separation units that supply a large volume of high purity oxygen without the need for external circuitry. This occurs when there is a difference in oxygen concentration across the OTM, allowing for oxygen to transport from the air to fuel side, thus eliminating nitrogen and simplifying the combustion process. The combustion products (carbon dioxide and water) can then be separated, captured, and sequestered for future use, allowing for the mitigation of harmful pollutants without sacrificing power plant efficiency.