As a global society we have been burning fossil fuels to meet our energy and transportation needs since the start of the industrial revolution, which has resulted in atmospheric CO2 concentrations much greater than any other time during the last 650,000 years. The replacement of fossil fuels with renewables, advances in energy efficiency, and carbon capture and storage/utilization are among some of the key strategies required to prevent warming beyond 2 °C within this century. My research focuses on both mitigation and adaptation strategies to minimize the negative impacts associated with our changing climate and dependence on fossil fuels.
Within my research group we combine experimental and theoretical methods to investigate capture and sequestration of trace metals (mercury, arsenic, and selenium) and carbon dioxide. Central to the approach of our lab is to connect with government labs and establish industry partnerships to assist in focusing and directing our research efforts in a way that bridge atomistic to plant scales. Fundamental chemical and physical phenomena involving gas-solid interfaces of trace metals and CO2 are of focus. Understanding how these pollutants speciate throughout combustion and postcombustion processes is crucial to the design of effective control technologies to minimize their release. Once CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere from a combustion process, its dilution increases significantly; hence, material and process designs that are effective over a range of CO2 concentrations are crucial. Given the gigaton-scale of CO2 emissions, quantifying the methods and impacts of sequestration opportunities are essential. Within my group we also investigate the storage potential of gas shale and coal, in addition to the utilization potential of CO2, with an emphasis on fuel production.
J Wilcox. Carbon Capture, Springer Publishing, March 2012, ISBN 978-1-4614-2214-3.
JWF To, J He, J Mei, R Haghpanah, Z Chen, T Kurosawa, S Chen, WG Bae, L Pan, JBH Tok, J Wilcox, Z Bao. Hierarchical N-doped Carbon as a CO2 Adsorbent with High CO2 Selectivity from Rationally-Designed Polypyrrole Precursor. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138(3) p: 1001-1009.
J Wilcox, A Kirchofer, G Glatz, J He, P Rochana. Revisiting Film Theory to Consider Approaches for Enhanced Solvent-Process Design for Carbon Capture. Energy Environ. Sci. 2014, 7(5) p: 1769-1785.
J Wilcox, R Haghpanah, J He, K Lee, E Rupp. Advancing Adsorption and Membrane-Based Separation Processes for the Gigaton Carbon Capture Challenge, Annu. Rev. Chem. Biomol. Eng. 2014, 5(1) p: 479-505.
Y Liu, J Wilcox. Effects of Surface Heterogeneity on the Adsorption of CO2 in Microporous Carbons. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2012, 46(3) p: 1940-1947.
KZ House, AC Baclig, M Ranjan, EA van Nierop, J Wilcox, HJ Herzog. An Economic and Energetic Analysis of Capturing CO2 from the Air. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 2011, 108(51) p: 20428-20433.