The Novo Nordisk Foundation CO2 Research Center (CORC)
Research of the Novo Nordisk Foundation CO2 Research Center is at the interface between life sciences and chemical sciences to develop new fundamental understandings and early technology platforms for capturing and converting CO2 for storage and utilisation.
Supported by extensive systems analyses, the center focuses in early research phases on the scalability of technology solutions via extensive conversations with relevant industrial partners and policy makers. Research activities also include basic collaborative research with companies on specific research aspects.
The research center is distinctive in its cross-disciplinary approach by combining and integrating the best of life and of chemical sciences, supported by systems modeling. Thus, the CO2 research center will also be a leader in educating and training the next generation of interdisciplinary sci-entists and engineers tackling the big societal problems that cannot be solved by a single disci-pline.
Organized in a hub and satellite structure, CORC has also excellent test facilities at Aarhus University’s Foulum site to develop and conduct pilot-scale technology demonstrations.
Major research approaches
The major research approaches that integrate life and chemical sciences include, but are not limited to:
• Direct CO2 capture from air
• Microbial/chemical conversion of CO2 to C1-8 compounds
• Homogeneous, heterogeneous, and enzyme catalysis for CO2 capture and conversions
• Electrochemical reductions of CO2 and CO2-derived multi-carbon compounds
• Novel carbonate (bio)chemistries for CO2 capture and conversion
These core elements of the center’s chemical and life sciences are complemented by a strong systems analyses. Moreover, various teams of interdisciplinary center researchers have formed around diverse subtopics of CO2 capture and conversion, combining uniquely the above expertise.
University of Copenhagen:
The chemistry and physics of CO2 are still far from being fully understood, thus hampering our attempts to mitigate the global issues related to it. Our research group works on CO2-functionalization and catalysis to find ideal solutions towards creating more valuable re-sources to compensate the input energy in the conversion process. This implies that this industrial waste, CO2, can be transformed into useful chemicals, serving as a fuel source for water purification and desalination. By studying these chemical processes, we are in-creasing our understanding of the chemistry and physics of CO2, thus providing essential information and knowledge for carbon capture, storage and utilization (CCSU).
At CORC, the Lee group will concentrate on the development of the next generation tech-nologies for CO2 capture to forge viable solutions for imminent global issues related to anthropogenic CO2 emission, by applying the knowledge acquired from organic synthetic chemistry and catalysis. In this context, reducing the energy penalty in desorption of CO2 in carbon capture processes emerges as a critical goal. This will be possible by identi-fying compatible direct chemical or biological conversion of the captured CO2 to the final products of interest, providing the ultimate solution for CCSU, preferentially from thin air via direct air capture (DAC) or from point sources.
Technical University of Copenhagen:
Professor Lars Angenent et.al. in ScienceDirect, February 2023: Acetate augmenta-tion boosts the ethanol production rate and specificity by Clostridium ljungdahlii during gas fermentation with pure carbon monoxide.
Assistant professor Jiwoong Lee et. al. in American Chemical Society, February 2023: Carbon Dioxide-Mediated Desalination (not funded by CORC)
CORC's team and secretariat is located at Aarhus University's campus and is available for enquir-ies about the research center's activities and reasearch as well as for people looking to get in-volved in research or are looking for more knowledge on CO2 and climate change mitigation.
The Novo Nordisk Foundation CO2 Research Center is located at Aarhus University, our visiting address is:
Gustav Wieds Vej 10C
Building 3135, Level 2
8000 Aarhus C