Ah-Hyung Alissa Park

Lenfest Chair in Applied Climate Science, Director, Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy

1038A Mudd Hall, Mail Code: 4711

Phone: +1 212 854 8989
Fax: +1 212-854-7081

Research interests:

Carbon capture and storage; Clean fossil energy conversion systems; Waste-to-Energy; Alternative energy production; Particle technology; Electrostatic tomography; Multiphase flow systems.

Carbon mineral sequestration

Predictions of global energy usage suggest a continued increase in carbon emissions and rising concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere unless major changes are made to the way energy is produced and used.  The containment of CO2involves CO2separation, transportation, and storage. Until now these technologies have been developed independently of one another, which has resulted in complex and economically challenged large scale designs. In particular, the energy consumption during mineral processing for the carbonation of Mg-bearing minerals has posed a significant hurdle for carbon mineral sequestration’s development. Despite its current shortcomings, by producing thermodynamically stable magnesium carbonate, this method is the only carbon sequestration technology that would provide truly safe and permanent carbon storage.  In light of this, our research group first attempts to combine carbon mineral sequestration with a Municipal Solid Wastes (MSW)-to-Liquid process to achieve process intensification and synergetic net reduction of carbon emissions. The overarching concept is the shift of the Water Gas Shift (WGS) reaction equilibrium via constant removal of CO2. This approach is investigated by injecting engineered mesopored Mg-bearing sorbent into the WGS reactor. The new insights into the synthesis of Mg-bearing sorbent for the enhanced WGS reaction for H2 production could provide the fundamental basis to resolve the main bottleneck currently limiting carbon mineral sequestration. This could ultimately lead to the development of a viable energy conversion system integrated with in-situ carbon mineral sequestration.

Sustainable energy conversion of solid wastes

A large percentage of the United States energy demands are currently met using liquid fuel imported from politically unstable parts of the world. Such imports pose a potential threat to our national security and, therefore, finding an alternative source to supply our country’s ever growing energy demand is critical.  One of the less investigated domestic sources of alternative energy is non-recyclable plastics. Although we are recycling a large quantity of plastic bottles (~34%), the actual fraction of all plastics being recovered and recycled is less than 6%. Thus, our research group is investigating an energy conversion system that converts the now landfilled petrochemical portion of municipal solid wastes (MSW) to value added liquid fuel which is very attractive in terms of environmental sustainability and national security.

Electrostatic phenomenon in multiphase flow systems

Electrostatic charging frequently influences flows containing dielectric solids and/or liquids (including synthetic liquid fuel), however, this is still very much a nascent field.  At Columbia, we are building a laboratory specialized in electrostatic phenomena, to study in depth a system containing non-conductive liquid fuel and fine particles.  The fundamental findings from this study related to electrostatic charge generation and dissipation in various multiphase flows will contribute to the understanding of the particle-particle interactions and interparticle forces, the development of the non-invasive measurement technique, and the improvement in the computational fluid dynamics (CFD).

Selected Publications:

“Eliminating Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Coal Fired Power Plants,” K. S. Lackner, A.-H. A. Park& B. Miller, Electricity Generation in a Carbon Constrained World, Ed. F. P. Sioshansi, (in preparation). – Invited Book Chapter

“Novel Applications of Chemical Looping Technologies,” A.-H. A. Park, P. Gupta & L.-S. Fan, Chemical Looping Technology, (in preparation). – Book Chapter

“Synthesis of Iron-Based Chemical Looping Sorbents during Carbon Mineral Sequestration,” Hyung Rae Kim, A.-H. A. Park, D. H. Lee & L.-S. Fan, Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, (in review).“

Carbon sequestration,” A.-H. A. Park, K. Lackner & L.-S. Fan, Hydrogen Fuel: Production, Transport and Storage, Edited by Ram Gupta, CRC Press, pp. 569-601, 2008.– Invited BookChapter.

“Particle Technology,” A.-H. A. Park, C. Zhu & L.-S. Fan, Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2008.– Invited Encyclopedia Chapter

“Electrostatic Charging Phenomenon in Gas-Liquid-Solid Flow Systems,” A.-H. A. Park & L.-S. Fan, Chemical Engineering Science,62, pp. 371-386, (2007).

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