Plan B: Decarbonizing Fossil Resources for Power and Plastics
The University of Adelaide, Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Science is proud to present Professor Eric McFarland, a prominent US energy expert.
A dynamic thought-provoking speaker, Professor McFarland combines senior energy industry experience with University research on the future of alternative, sustainable energy production.
Professor McFarland’s advice on future energy solutions has been sought by global blue-chip companies and business leaders.
When: Tuesday 12 December, 2017
Where: The Horace Lamb Lecture Theatre, The University of Adelaide, North Terrace
There is no evidence that significant reductions in the carbon dioxide emissions associated with power generation will be achieved using current commercial alternatives to abundant and low-cost fossil fuels. The massive infrastructure and equipment changes required for such a transition would require multiple decades if and when a serious commitment is made and an economical transition pathway identified. However, the stored chemical potential in fossil fuels may be economically utilized for decades in unconventional processes to produce chemicals including hydrogen and other key chemical intermediates without producing any carbon dioxide. Such processes are more cost effective than other options and more readily implemented within existing infrastructure. Ongoing work to understand the fundamental catalytic processes of methane conversion to chemicals and fuels in the absence of oxygen will be described together with the techno economic driving factors. Advances and innovation in the chemical science and reaction engineering could have enormous impact on global use of fossil resources into the future.
Eric McFarland is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). He studied Nuclear Engineering and received his Ph.D. from MIT and an MD from Harvard. His present research focus is in catalysis and reaction engineering related to energy conversion. McFarland has always worked closely with industry on problems related to energy and chemical production and he has held senior management positions in several companies related to his University research and is an active advisor to industry. McFarland recently returned to UCSB from a two-year position as the founding Director of the Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation and Dow Chemical Chair of Chemical Engineering at the University of Queensland, Australia.