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Comment Sustainability

ExxonMobil and Princeton renew partnership to advance carbon capture, fuel cell technologies

By Mary Page Bailey |

ExxonMobil Corp. (Irving, Tex.) and Princeton University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment have renewed their collaboration to research lower-emission technologies and energy solutions.

The new, five-year agreement builds on ExxonMobil’s participation in Princeton’s E-filliates Partnership, which began in 2015. E-filliates is a corporate membership program administered by the Andlinger Center and aims to help accelerate research, development and deployment of energy and environmental technologies through academia and industry partnerships.

“We collaborate with leading universities and institutions around the world to find meaningful and scalable solutions to develop lower-emission technologies” said Vijay Swarup, vice president of research and development for ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company. “Our work with Princeton University’s Andlinger Center builds on decades-long interactions with the university, supporting the essential research in science, engineering and humanities needed to address national and global issues.”

“Working with companies is a critical piece of translating fundamental knowledge and discoveries into real-world impact. We challenge ExxonMobil scientists to explore the fundamental scientific questions that underpin technology development in new ways, and they challenge our scientists to think about the practical considerations of scaling technologies,” said Yueh-Lin (Lynn) Loo, Andlinger Center director and the Theodora D. ’78 and William H. Walton ’74 Professor in Engineering. “It’s a win-win and ultimately helps us carry out a core tenet of our mission, which is to reduce emissions globally while improving access to energy around the world.”

Princeton University is advancing carbon capture technology with new research to better understand how stored CO2 flows within rocks and interacts with minerals, improving the understanding of underground storage capacity. Future CO2 storage projects can be more optimally planned and operated to achieve net emissions reductions.

Princeton University scientists are also working with ExxonMobil on the development of carbonate fuel cells. This is in addition to the company’s ongoing collaboration with FuelCell Energy to enhance technology for capturing CO2 from industrial facilities and electric power generation.

Over the past five years, through the company’s participation in E-ffiliates, ExxonMobil scientists have collaborated with Princeton faculty and researchers to support early-stage research projects that are focused on identifying lower-emission technologies that can accelerate the energy transition. Results have been published in peer-reviewed journals including Nature Geoscience, Science, Applied Energy, Journal of the American Chemical Society, and Energy and Environmental Science.

Princeton University researchers also are working to better understand the barriers, technology needs and opportunities of the global energy transition. This research is taking a comprehensive look at potential pathways to achieve net-zero emissions in the United States by 2050, and the investments in technology, infrastructure, and skill development to achieve that goal. The fundamental approach and modeling tools developed in this pilot study will be available for global use. The effort is co-led by the Andlinger Center, along with other campus partners, and funded in part by ExxonMobil and other partners.

Princeton’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment is one of five university energy centers ExxonMobil has partnered with to undertake fundamental research to provide low-carbon energy solutions while meeting global energy demand.

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