Research

Faculty from across the University of Michigan have developed dozens of independent yet related projects that advance Beyond Carbon Neutral. These projects will investigate key questions related to carbon dioxide removal, and generally fall into three overlapping categories: technology, the biosphere, and human systems.

Biosphere

Soil Carbon

  • Improve soil carbon storage with an emphasis on the role of Mark Hunter, Evolutionary Biology
  • Examine the various mechanisms of carbon sequestration in soils through experimentation. Luke Nave, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Test the impact of various forest management techniques on soil carbon sequestration. Luke Nave, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Evaluate ecosystem services and yield production associated with soil carbon sequestration experimentally. Ivette Perfecto, School of Natural Resources and the Environment
  • Examine the tradeoffs and synergies between soil carbon sequestration and ecosystem production yields. Ivette Perfecto, School of Natural Resources and the Environment
  • Understand the microbial and biochemical mechanisms mediating soil carbon storage. Don Zak, School of Natural Resources and the Environment

Forest & Agriculture Management

  • Assess forest system responses to climate change and identify resilience mechanisms. Ines Ibanez, School of Natural Resources and the Environment
  • Forest management impacts on biosphere-geosphere carbon sequestrationLuke Nave, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Paul Drevnick, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Land & Water Use

  • Analyze the dynamics of land use decision-making among landowners. Shelie Miller, School of Natural Resources and the Environment

Climate Feedbacks

  • Develop and incorporate climate variability scaling factors such as wildfires into climate change models. Gretchen Keppel-Aleks, Climate & Space Sciences and Engineering
  • Develop atmospheric observations to quantify sources and sinks of greenhouse gases at local and continental scales. Eric Kort, Climate & Space Sciences and Engineering
  • Refine an integrated silicon micro-ring CO2 sensor for atmospheric gas monitoring. Ya Sha Yi, Electrical and Computer Science Engineering

Technology

Carbon Capture

  • Assess the technical, economic, and social feasibility of onboard carbon capture from mobile internal combustion engine emission sources. Christian Lastoskie, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Brian Ellis, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Herek Clack, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Toward a superior zeolite/silica (core/shell) composite adsorbent for air capture. Ralph Yang, Chemical Engineering
  • Discover porous adsorbent materials for carbon dioxide capture from point sources or the atmosphere using atomistic simulation. Don Siegel, Mechanical Engineering, Phase I – Adam Matzger, Chemistry, Christian Lastoskie, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Computational discovery of novel CO2 reactions for sequestration or utilization. Paul Zimmerman, Chemistry
  • Investigate biological carbon sequestration into stable and valuable chemicals through engineered microbial consortia. Nina Lin, Chemical Engineering, Brad Cardinale, Natural Resources, and Neil Marsh, Chemistry

Carbon Utilization

  • Optimize computational catalysts for CO2 chemistries.  Paul Zimmerman, Chemistry
  • Control product distribution at porous Cu electrodes using an electrochemical flow cell. Charles McCrory, Chemistry
  • Evaluate a cascade systems approach to chemical, electrochemical, and photochemical transformations of captured CO2. Levi Thompson, Chemical Engineering, Suljo Linic, Chemical Engineering, Melanie Sanford, Chemistry, Khalil Najafi, Electrical Engineering, Mark Barteau, Chemical Engineering
  • Develop high volume durable concrete for point-source and distributed CO2 removal. Victor Li, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Assess particle size control of pH in concrete. Bart Bartlett, Chemistry
  • Develop multilayer films of discrete molecular catalysts for the electrochemical reduction of CO2 to single products. Charles McCrory, Chemistry
  • Evaluate and test hierarchically structured nanocatalysts for efficient chemical transformation of CO2 by high-temperature tandem photocatalysis. Neil Dasgupta, Mechanical Engineering, and Johannes Schwank, Chemical Engineering

Carbon Storage

  • Application of self-healing cements for enhanced wellbore integrity and CO2 storage security. Brian Ellis and Victor Li, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Test the coupling of low potential enzyme mediators to reduce gaseous CO2 to solid oxalate. Stephen Ragsdale, Medical School

Human Systems

Markets

  • Examine the social and cultural changes necessary to enable a carbon-negative market. Andrew Hoffman, Ross School of Business
  • Review the economics of land use and land use change related to CDR approaches.  Michael Moore, School of Natural Resources and the Environment
  • Develop decision support tools for stakeholders to evaluate CDR approaches. Joe Arvai, Ross School of Business
  • Evaluate incentive mechanism design for motivating green initiatives in operations and supply chains. Xi Chen, Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering
  • Examine an agroforestry business in India to better understand sustainable practices. Ravi Anupindi, Ross School of Business
  • Least cost technology deployment trajectories to achieve carbon negativity. Steve Skerlos, Mechanical Engineering

Policy

  • Experimentally test the effectiveness of informational, market, and policy approaches on international management of forest carbon. Arun Agrawal, School of Natural Resources and the Environment
  • Evaluate private landowner management and forest-based carbon dioxide removal. Alexander Paige Fischer, School of Natural Resources and the Environment
  • Assess the international policy context for supporting CDR research, development, and deployment.   Center for Political Studies
  • Analyze policy and program options for moving beyond carbon neutral. John DeCicco, Energy Institute
  • Couple economic and geospatial modeling to estimate net ecosystem uptakes of carbon dioxide. Dan Brown, School of Natural Resources, John DeCicco, Energy Institute
  • Quantify the economic impacts and community perceptions of a carbon capture and sequestration project in Decatur, IL. Daniel Raimi, Energy Institute, and Sarah Mills, School of Public Policy

Society

  • Experimentally test different messages to understand how key stakeholders respond to different framings of CDR. Arthur ‘Skip’ Lupia, Political Science
  • Examine how knowledge of various CDR approaches affects support for other climate efforts.   Victoria Campbell-Arvai, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, Sol Hart, Communications, Kaitlin Raimi, School of Public Policy, Kim Wolske, Ross School of Business
  • Conduct surveys to understand domestic understanding and perceptions of CDR approaches.  Michael Traugott and Nicholas Valentino, Communications
  • Assess what University of Michigan students know about various CDR approaches.   Robert Marans, School of Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Understand how individuals create mental maps to comprehend different CDR approaches. Robert Marans, School of Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Quantify existing framings of CDR using a large dataset of national media coverage.  Stuart Soroka, Communications and Political Science
  • Gauge initial United States public responses to different carbon dioxide removal approaches.   Center for Political Studies
  • Assess public reaction to different framings of carbon dioxide removal in the United States.   Center for Political Studies
  • Understand reactions to carbon dioxide removal concepts across different nations and cultures. Center for Political Studies