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Rahimi Wins CAREER Award for Electrochemical Carbon Capture Research

UH Researcher Working to Enhance Carbon Dioxide Separation

Rahimi Wins CAREER Award for Electrochemical Carbon Capture Research

HOUSTON, May 29, 2024 – Mim Rahimi, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Houston, has received a National Science Foundation CAREER award for his research proposal focusing on liquid-liquid interfaces for electrochemical carbon capture research.

His research proposal is “Leveraging Liquid-Liquid Interfaces for Innovative Electrochemical Carbon Capture.” It was selected for $537,719 in funding, with research running through August 2029.

“The project aims to advance electrochemical carbon capture by employing engineered soft interfaces at liquid-liquid interfaces between two immiscible electrolyte solutions,” Rahimi said. “This novel approach addresses current ECC process performance limitations, such as the reliance on costly ion-selective membranes and oxygen gas sensitivity. These engineered interfaces will be developed and optimized for enhanced carbon dioxide separation performance and system energetics.”

“I would like to express my deep gratitude to my research team for their invaluable contributions to this research. Ph.D. student Abdelrahman Refaie and postdoc Yuanyuan Fang played crucial roles in preparing the necessary data for the proposal. Additionally, Ph.D. students Ahmad Hassan, Mohsen Afshari, and Prince Aleta provided significant support and assistance throughout the project.”

Rahimi added that he had significant support from his colleagues at the Cullen College of Engineering as well.

“I would also like to acknowledge the generous startup package provided by the department and our chair, Roberto Ballarini,” he said. “Special thanks to Hanadi Rifai for accommodating lab space and for her mentorship. I am also grateful to professors Devin Shaffer and Konrad Krakowiak for their help during the proposal preparation.”

“Furthermore, I appreciate the seed grant support from the UH Center for Carbon Management in Energy (CCME), especially Ramanan Krishnamoorti and Charles McConnell, and from the UH Energy Transition Institute (ETI), particularly Joe Powell.”

This is the second significant grant that Rahimi has earned for his research into electrochemical carbon capture in the last two years. In 2023, he received $250,000 in funding from the Department of Energy to create electrochemical tubes to remove dissolved inorganic carbon from seawater.

Rahimi joined the Cullen College of Engineering in the 2021–22 academic year. Prior to coming to UH, he was a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT. He completed his doctorate in chemical engineering at Penn State in 2017.

In his lab, Rahimi’s team develops electrochemical processes for climate change mitigation, focusing particularly on carbon capture, storage and utilization (CCUS). The carbon capture efforts target point sources, ambient air and oceanic sources. Additionally, the team is engaged in developing electrochemical processes for environmental remediation. These efforts are aimed at addressing various environmental challenges through innovative and energy-efficient methods.

Story by Stephen Greenwell


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[] Rahimi Wins CAREER Award for Electrochemical Carbon Capture Research
UH Researcher Working to Enhance Carbon Dioxide Separation