Sobhani and industry partners to develop 3D Printed Ceramics for Clean Energy with new grant

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Lithoz machines for 3D printed Ceramics
Above: Ceramic 3D printers from Lithoz/Source: Lithoz

Sadaf Sobhani, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, is the principal investigator on a $50,000 FuzeHub grant to develop 3D printed ceramics in collaboration with Lithoz America, a ceramic 3D printing company, and Dimensional Energy, an energy Startup.

Sobhani and his industry partners will create 3D printed ceramics that can be used to break down carbon emissions and convert them into clean energy more efficiently.

Dimensional Energy, founded and run by Cornellians, uses energy reactors to convert carbon dioxide into chemicals that can then be processed into clean aviation fuel. Although the technology has received backing from an airline and other investors, scaling it up remains a challenge.

“Excellent thermal properties and corrosion resistance make ceramics attractive for these reactors, but significant design constraints limit their actual performance. The freedom of design and choice of materials enabled by ceramic additive manufacturing will narrow the theory-performance gap to hit the desired milestones.”

– Sadaf Sobhani, Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Developing 3D Printed Ceramics for Clean Energy

Sobhani previously collaborated with Lithoz America to investigate how a combination of computational modelling and 3D printing could be used to create highly customised ceramic structures capable of withstanding the high temperatures encountered in reactors and other industrial settings. In another research project, Sobhani highlighted the benefits of using 3D printing to rapidly prototype electrochemical reactors with unique shapes and designs that could optimise performance and conversion rates.

The FuzeHub grant will be used to create new advanced printable ceramics that can withstand the harsh operating environments of clean energy reactors, with a focus on specialised thermocatalytic reactors such as those used by Dimensional Energy.

Sobhani said, “I am really looking forward to bringing our research to a market setting, and in particular to help create more environmentally responsible fuels and chemicals.”

“Stronger domestic production supports a more resilient economy,” said in an announcement for the funding. “During this round of Manufacturing Grants, many of the projects that were selected involved advanced materials. As awardees work to solve technical challenges, they’re also supporting the onshoring of production, which is crucial for supply chain resiliency, especially in these post-pandemic times.”

– Elena Garuc, Executive Director, FuzeHub

The collaborative project is one of nine that have recently received funding from FuzeHub, a non-profit organisation that provides resources to help New York businesses grow.

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