How to take the ‘petro’ out of the petrochemicals industry

Phil De Luna working in the laboratory (Photo: Tyler Irving)

Fossil fuels are the backbone of the global petrochemicals industry, which provides the world’s growing population with fuels, plastics, clothing, fertilizers and more. A new research paper, published today in Science, charts a course for how an alternative technology — renewable electrosynthesis —  could usher in a more sustainable chemical industry, and ultimately enable us to leave much more oil and gas in the ground.

Phil De Luna (MSE PhD 1T9) is the paper’s lead author. His research at U of T Engineering involved designing and testing catalysts for electrosynthesis, and last November he was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list of innovators in the category of Energy. He and his supervisor Professor Ted Sargent (ECE) collaborated on the paper with an international team of researchers from Stanford University and TOTAL American Services, Inc.

Writer Tyler Irving sat down with De Luna to learn more about how renewable electrosynthesis could take the “petro” out of petrochemicals.

Read the full article here.