Thomas Hosmer

Optimization of Direct Air Capture in Environments of Steady Flow

Direct air capture (DAC) is the removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) directly from the atmosphere. While DAC is essential to achieving net zero carbon emissions and preventing irreversible damage from climate change, DAC plants require extensive energy input to draw in air. Dr. Klaus Lackner at the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University has developed a prototype of a MechanicalTreeTM that utilizes passive air flow to reduce required energy. Before these machines can be deployed, we need to determine the optimal configurations to place them based on local wind patterns. We want distributions that minimize surface area yet maximize the fraction of air molecules filtered. I will develop a model in MATLAB that utilizes multi-physics simulations paired with genetic algorithms (GA) to optimize the placement of DAC machines. With this model, we can make DAC feasible for implementation on a global scale to reverse the trend of rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

Message to Sponsor

I want to thank my donor for making this opportunity to pursue my own research possible. Direct air capture technology has drawn my attention as a necessary tool for mitigating climate change, and the generosity of the Rose Hills Fund allows me to study methods that will make it feasible on the global scale. I am excited to utilize this opportunity to complete research that will bring us closer to saving our planet.
  • Major: Environmental Engineering Science
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills Foundation
  • Mentor: Tarek Zohdi