Net Zero Emissions
Multidisciplinary approach to scientific and engineering research on Net Zero Emissions technological innovations, coupled with crosscutting work on policy, markets, and regulation
Multidisciplinary approach to scientific and engineering research on CCUS technological innovations, coupled with crosscutting work on policy, markets, and regulation
Net Zero Emissions is a technology that can be applied across the energy system. The Colorado School of Mines has directly relevant science and technology expertise that spans from fundamental chemistry through reactor engineering. There are on the order of 30-50 faculty actively engaged with areas related to one or more aspects of the Net Zero Emissions chain.
Most, if not all, CO2 reduction to fuels or chemicals depends on catalytic hydrogenation or dehydrogenation processes. Thus, the design, synthesis, and implementation of selective catalysts are essential aspects of CO2 utilization for the production of value-added chemicals. As a practical matter, cost-effective and timely technology development depends on closely coordinated multidisciplinary research and engineering.
Through collaboration and research Colorado School of Mines and the Payne Institute are connecting the technical expertise on campus related to Net Zero Emissions with industry, government and civil society to increase awareness of the opportunities related to CCUS. Maintaining the focus of the University as a leader at the frontiers of science and engineering, related to earth, energy and environmental stewardship.
Prospects for American cobalt Reactions to mine proposals in Minnesota and Idaho
Payne Institute Research Associate Aaron Malone, Faculty Fellows Nicole Smith and Elizabeth Holley, and Student Researcher Tinzar Htun write about how cobalt is a critical mineral for electric vehicles and the transition to renewable energy. Two leading prospective regions for U.S. cobalt production, in Minnesota and Idaho. Our central aim is to understand why reactions to mining proposals have been divergent, with polarized, intractable debates that have stalled projects in Minnesota while proposed mines in Idaho have advanced with minimal controversy. We summarize the geology and mining methods of each project before analyzing similarities and differences in responses, organizing our analysis around facets of environment, identity and legitimacy, politics, and economy. September 25, 2023.
What Does Energy Transition Mean To You?
Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Jim Crompton is a co-host on this podcast hosting Dr. Ershaghi, Director of the Ershaghi Center for Energy Transition (E-CET), on the history of the energy transitions; where we stand in the race to net zero; the role that governments, private sector, and individuals play in the energy transition; and the importance of combating misinformation. Also featured, Mathew Davis, a Master’s student in petroleum engineering at USC, on how he defines energy transition and the role that petroleum engineering plays in the energy transition. September 18, 2023.
How Big Oil’s wastewater could fuel the EV revolution
Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Ian Lange contributes to this article about how since oil and gas drilling began nearly 150 years ago, the salty wastewater it produces has been a nuisance for operators. Now, the electric vehicle revolution could turn the industry’s billions of barrels of brine into dollars. Oil and gas companies are eyeing their own byproduct — along with naturally occurring brine found deep underground — as a source of lithium, a highly sought-after metal needed to make EV batteries. September 12, 2023.
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: THE INFLUENCE OF INCUMBENT INDUSTRIES ON MISSION-ORIENTED INNOVATION POLICY TARGETING CARBON LOCK-IN 9/8/2023
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: THE INFLUENCE OF INCUMBENT INDUSTRIES ON MISSION-ORIENTED INNOVATION POLICY TARGETING CARBON LOCK-IN
Payne Institute Fellow Sara Hastings-Simon and Eliot Tretter write about how mission-oriented innovation to address climate change, a moonshot or Manhattan project for climate, is an approach that promises to address climate change by achieving net zero carbon emissions. However, even with significant technical advances, successfully reaching this goal would dramatically reduce the market for fossil fuels. This paper explores how mission-oriented innovation potentially impacts and is impacted
by incumbent industries and describes how in the case of Alberta’s fossil-fuel industry, regional incumbents influenced the establishment of a mission they saw as a direct threat to their market. September 8, 2023.
New Arizona mines unearth new conflicts: resist climate change or protect fragile landscapes? 9/7/2023
New Arizona mines unearth new conflicts: resist climate change or protect fragile landscapes?
Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Rod Eggert contributed to this article about how South32 is one of many prospective miners in the West in a position to capitalize on a national appetite for homegrown US sourced minerals. However, in Arizona, It also would change a landscape that many prize as a unique biological mixing zone in forested mountain ranges like the Patagonias. Arizona’s Sky Islands form an archipelago of oases above the desert, alive with migratory birds, bats and big cats. September 7, 2023.
The need for balance in the regulation of the oil and natural gas industry
Payne Institute Faculty Fellows Jennifer Miskimins and Jim Crompton write about how to get the balance between environmental action and economic reality right, we all need more collaboration. Over the past several years, Colorado has implemented precedent-setting regulations, from baseline groundwater testing and monitoring, to air regulations targeting methane leak detection and repair. But we still have a long way to go, and while it’s not an easy road for regulators, it’s crucial we stay the course. August 29, 2023.
The Economics of Natural Gas Flaring and Methane Emissions in US Shale: An Agenda for Research and Policy 7/26/2023
The Economics of Natural Gas Flaring and Methane Emissions in US Shale: An Agenda for Research and Policy
Mark Agerton, Payne Faculty Fellow Ben Gilbert, and Gregory B. Upton Jr. write about how natural gas flaring and methane emissions (F&M) are linked environmental issues for US shale oil and gas operations. Flaring refers to burning natural gas when regulatory, infrastructure, and market constraints make it infeasible to capture it when drilling for oil. In this paper, we lay out an agenda for researchers and policy makers. We describe why F&M are linked, both physically and in terms of policy. July 26, 2023.
Today’s energy economy is building Colorado’s zero-carbon future
Payne Institute Program Managers Anna Littlefield and Simon Lomax and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the transition to a zero-carbon economy may look like a case of “out with the old, in with the new.” Dig deeper and the reality is much different, however. Many of the skills, technologies and scientific research that support the energy sources we use today are also essential for developing the new energy sources of tomorrow. July 26, 2023.
The Defense Production Act’s Role in the Clean Energy Transition
Payne Institute Fellow Joshua Busby, Emily Holland, Director Morgan Bazilian, and Paul Orszag write about how the Defense Production Act (DPA) has been invoked by President Biden to address U.S. dependence on imports of critical minerals and the battery supply chain. The Biden administration has been pushing for greater domestic production and sourcing of minerals to assist with the clean energy transition, a process that the administration classifies as an existential security priority. July 17, 2023.
Minnesota locked in global dilemma: More copper and nickel are needed, but mine development slow 7/15/2023
Minnesota locked in global dilemma: More copper and nickel are needed, but mine development slow
Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributes to this article about how the demand for copper and nickel is surging thanks to a worldwide transition to clean electricity and electric vehicles, which is driven by government policy and improving economics. But the mineral supply is not keeping up: No one, it seems, wants a hardrock mine as a neighbor. July 15, 2023.
The Global Energy Landscape
Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian is on this podcast discussing the intersection of policy and climate technology, how to drive energy access in the global south, Dr. Bazilian’s work at the UN and World Bank, how to facilitate the energy transition in the U.S., the importance of community engagement, and many other topics. July 5, 2023.
The 2023 CCNow Journalism Awards – Finalists
The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group contributed satellite imagery to this 2023 CCNow Finalist for Journalism Award (Up In Flames article in Reuters) that analyzed the flaring sites across Mexico. The article is about how gas flaring soars in Mexico, derailing its climate change pledges as it seeks to boost oil output. The new data suggests that in spite of signing an international pledge to reduce methane emissions, Mexico is moving in the opposite direction from a global push to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas production. June 28, 2023.
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