Research at the Global CO2 Initiative supports the development of captured carbon product technologies — both technological and biological — from early stage R&D through the stages of demonstration and early commercial deployment.

The Global CO2 Initiative is cultivating existing and potential industry and research partners to further collaborate and expand R&D and deployment opportunities for carbon dioxide removal and utilization technologies.

Innovative Solutions

collage of natural fibers for compositesNatural fibers outperform glass and carbon fibers in CO2 balance. For example, bamboo captures 77 kg CO2/clump/year. However, mechanical properties such as strength and stiffness need to be enhanced to allow replacing glass and carbon fibers.

Our breakthrough idea will lead to reinforcing natural fibers by incorporating nanoparticles (e.g., carbon nanotubes, metal clusters, graphene) in plants as they are growing. Read more about Stronger Natural Fibers for Composites.

Blue Sky Initiative

The following four projects are supported by the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering through the Blue Sky Initiatives program.

Bendable Concrete

Bendable Concrete

The cement industry contributes 5–8% of global CO2 emissions. This CO2 can also be repurposed and utilized in curing the cement to manufacture concrete and other construction materials with desirable mechanical properties. Read more about Bendable Concrete.

Stronger Natural Fibers for Composites

Natural fibers as reinforcement of polymer composites gain attention due to their remarkable mechanical properties, low cost, carbon-neutral nature, and recyclability. Read more about Stronger Natural Fibers for Composites.

Supercritical CO2 Electrolysis Using Hedgehog Particles

Economical utilization of captured CO2 becomes possible when it is electrochemically converted into nanoscale products that can be used as fuel, ultra-strong materials, and high-performance plastics. Read more about Supercritical CO2 Electrolysis Using Hedgehog Particles.

Superior CO2 Capture Technology: CO2 Sorbents

In order to capture CO2 from atmosphere or industrial processes most effectively, we are developing new sorbents that increase the carbon-capture capacity of a moisture-stable sorbent relative to today’s best performer by 100%. Read more about Superior CO2 Capture Technology: CO2 Sorbents.

Public Perception and Consumer Sentiment

Gauging Public Acceptance of Products Made with Captured Carbon

Exploring people’s willingness to use a product derived from captured carbon will help gauge the potential for a reliable consumer end-market. Read more about Gauging Public Acceptance of Products Made with Captured Carbon.

Acceptability of Products Containing Captured CO2: The Role of Trust, Risk Perceptions, and Product Framing

Public perception is an important component of the commercialization of these products: without the trust, support, and buy-in of end users, CCU may not achieve the level of commercial success that is necessary to meet market- and climate-related goals. Read more about Acceptability of Products containing captured CO2.

Dr. Mihaela BanuDr. Mihaela Banu is a Research Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Dr. Alan Taub is a Professor of Materials Science & Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan.

Their research focuses on improving the performance of natural fiber composites for structural applications and how it will use nature’s incorporation of CO2 in plants. Learn about Dr. Banu and Dr. Taub.

International Research Collaborators

CO2 Value Europe
IASS Potsdam
RWTH Aaachen University
Technische Universitat Berlin
The University of Sheffield