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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE
Doing Business As Name:University of Delaware
PD/PI:
  • Dan Freeman
  • (302) 831-4393
  • freemand@udel.edu
Award Date:12/13/2019
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 50,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 50,000
  • FY 2020=$50,000
Start Date:12/01/2019
End Date:05/31/2020
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:I-Corps: Electrochemical Platform for Chemical Synthesis from Carbon Monoxide
Federal Award ID Number:1947752
DUNS ID:059007500
Parent DUNS ID:059007500
Program:I-Corps
Program Officer:
  • Ruth Shuman
  • (703) 292-2160
  • rshuman@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:210 Hullihen Hall
City:Newark
State:DE
ZIP:19716-0099
County:Newark
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:00

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Delaware
Street:210 Hullihen Hall
City:Newark
State:DE
ZIP:19716-2553
County:Newark
Country:US
Cong. District:00

Abstract at Time of Award

The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project will be the development technology that addresses a worldwide need for effective carbon utilization. Production of fossil-derived chemicals generates over 1.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide annually, comprising 15% of total emissions. Harnessing waste carbon from other sectors to generate these same chemicals has the dual effect of dramatically lowering emissions and reducing dependence on oil and natural gas. This I-Corps Team is developing a scalable, electrically driven chemical synthesis device that can transform waste carbon into a wide variety of chemical products, satisfying needs in both small-scale specialty and high-volume production. The targeted compounds represent over $350 billion in annual revenue and form the building blocks of plastics, adhesives, pharmaceuticals, and beyond. This I-Corps project will accelerate commercial development of a scalable, modular electrochemical platform centered around high-rate conversion of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide serves as a practical starting material, which can be derived from emitted carbon dioxide, biowaste, and even steel production through methods that are commercially available. Previous laboratory research has identified the keys for effective and stable production of both high-volume multi-carbon chemicals and functionalized specialty compounds, lending the technology broad reach to serve a range of potential customers. The focus at this stage is to identify short-term and long-term product/market fit to guide technical development priorities and optimize towards the chemical products that directly match customer needs. Business model assumptions will be continuously tested and refined, resulting in a validated business plan with a clear path to commercial chemical production with this critical piece of carbon utilization technology. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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