June 23, 2020

Baltimore Congressional Delegation Announces $3 Million to Reduce Air Pollution and Recycle Carbon Waste

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, and Kweisi Mfume (all D-Md.) today announced $3 million in federal funding for the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) to develop technology that reduces air pollution and recycles carbon waste.  

“This new federal funding will invest in innovative new technologies that can improve air quality in our communities for the good of public health and of our environment,” the lawmakers said. “We are excited for UMCES and the opportunities this project creates, especially as we work to advance solutions that reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change in Maryland.” 

The delegation supports legislative efforts to put the United States on a path to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. 

“The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science is pleased to receive this prestigious grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for research on harnessing the power of algae to remove carbon dioxide from a power plant,” said President Peter Goodwin. “Along with UMCES’ partners, HY-TEK Bio and Argonne National Laboratory, the outcome of this project will be a scalable and deployable system in which the algae sequester carbon from flue gases. Innovations like these may prove to be a game-changer for Maryland and the nation to meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals and ultimately move toward carbon neutrality.” This project will be led by researchers at the UMCES Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, located in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. 

This project is one of 11 selected to receive $17 million nationwide. It aims to create a carbon-negative system from CO2 sequestration from power plant flue gases, leading to a scalable and deployable carbon-neutral bioreactor system. The award comes from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Carbon Utilization Program, which funds the development and testing of technologies to utilize carbon dioxide (CO2) from power systems or other industrial sources. Federal funding will be coupled with $750,002 in local match funding.  

Additional information about the DOE Carbon Utilization Program can be found here.