Research projects from The University of Western Australia that will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from industrial projects and reduce the cost of offshore wind energy have been awarded a combined $1.4 million in funding from the Australian Research Council.
"We take the opposite approach and convert carbon dioxide into important platform chemicals and biodegradable plastics."UWA Senior Lecturer and research project lead Dr Georg Fritz
Funds were awarded under the ARC’s Linkage Projects scheme, which promotes partnerships between researchers and industry.
Dr Georg Fritz and a team of researchers in the UWA School of Molecular Sciences were awarded $976,000 to develop innovative carbon capture and utilisation technology that fuses synthetic biology with inorganic chemistry.
“The products we use in everyday life are mostly made from petroleum-based resources, consuming about 10 per cent of the annual global oil production and releasing massive amounts of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide,” Dr Fritz said.
“In this project we take the opposite approach and convert carbon dioxide into important platform chemicals and biodegradable plastics.”
The four-year $3.1 million project would be carried out in partnership with Woodside Energy.
Image: UWA Oceans Institute Director Professor Christophe Gaudin with a geotechnical centrifuge, which will be used in the research project.
Researchers at UWA’s Oceans Institute received $420,000 to deploy helical (helix-shaped) anchors to secure floating wind developments.
Professor Christophe Gaudin said the project will reduce the cost of offshore floating wind energy.
“Academics and industry partners will develop the knowledge and practical tools to enable the deployment of helical anchors as a cheap and reliable anchoring system for floating wind,” Professor Gaudin said.
“Helical anchors are seen as the most promising solution to anchor floating wind turbines, but their deployment has been limited by uncertainties associated with the torque and vertical force required for installation in complex seabeds, and their performance under environmental loading.
“The project will address these specific points through a combination of physical, numerical and analytical modelling, using data and design scenarios provided by industry.”
UWA’s partners on the project are Ocean Infinity (Australia), the University of Dundee and Geowynd Offshore Engineering.