News

T. Alan Hatton - ExxonMobil joins MIT Energy Initiative's low-carbon technology R&D program

Low-Carbon Energy Centers are engaging across industries and sectors in advancing climate solutions.

MIT Energy Initiative
October 13, 2016

The MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) announced today that ExxonMobil will expand its support for MITEI's research and development of low-carbon technologies, building on the company's 2014 commitment as a founding member of MITEI to support faculty and student research.

Specifically, ExxonMobil will join MITEI's Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) Center, one of eight Low-Carbon Energy Centers — first called for in MIT's Plan for Action on Climate Change in October 2015 — established to advance research on specific, key technologies to address climate change such as electric power systems, energy bioscience, energy storage, materials for energy and extreme environments, advanced nuclear energy systems, nuclear fusion, and solar energy, in addition to CCUS.

"Advancing economic and sustainable technologies to capture carbon dioxide is one component of ExxonMobil's research into lower-emissions solutions," said Vijay Swarup, vice president of research and development at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company. "This effort expands our continuing collaboration with MIT to advance the scientific fundamentals needed to deliver low-carbon energy solutions."

"ExxonMobil's collaboration with the MIT Energy Initiative has supported energy technology innovations and enables students to gain hands-on experience through sponsored research projects and internships," said MITEI Director Robert C. Armstrong. "Through this new support, ExxonMobil will foster much-needed development of technologies that can aid the transition to a low-carbon energy future."

The Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage Center will focus on developing scalable, affordable technologies for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions by capturing carbon dioxide — particularly from industrial operations and power facilities — and storing it safely. This work will require innovations from disciplines including chemistry, biology, and engineering for carbon capture, and subsurface science and engineering at field scale for carbon storage. The CCUS Center is co-directed by MIT professors T. Alan Hatton of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Bradford Hager of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences.

The Low-Carbon Energy Centers bring together researchers from multiple disciplines to engage with companies, governmental agencies, and other stakeholders, including the philanthropic community, to develop deployable solutions through a uniquely inclusive model.

"Since the MIT Energy Initiative's founding, we have based our membership model on the conviction that industry engagement with academia and government is essential for furthering research and development of technologies that help the world sustainably meet its energy demands while transitioning to a low-carbon global energy system," said Louis Carranza, MITEI's associate director, who is spearheading the development of the centers. "Through our Low-Carbon Energy Centers, we're creating a new kind of ecosystem for this important collaboration, allowing companies to zero-in on specific technology areas most relevant to their businesses, and we welcome ExxonMobil's participation and support in this effort."

For more information on the centers, including how to join, visit energy.mit.edu/lcec.