CarMa Chair

Carbon management and negative CO2 emissions technologies towards a low carbon future

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Carbon dioxide (CO2) is, after water vapour, the second most present gas in the atmosphere as a result of human activity. It is largely responsible for the greenhouse effect, which contributes to an increase in the average temperature of the Earth's surface.

Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions has turned into an absolute priority. This effort, however, will not be enough to contain global warming at 1.5°C. We must reach the status known as "carbon neutrality" and stick to it... This principle implies achieving a balance between CO2 emissions and the carbon-absorption capacity of the atmosphere by natural processes (mainly forests and soils). It is a question of not emitting more than the ecosystem can absorb.

To achieve this ambitious goal, we must focus on what scientists call "negative emissions". This involves either removing CO2 directly from the atmosphere, or implementing mechanisms to reduce CO2 content in the atmosphere based on the carbon cycle of living organisms (biomass exploitation, reforestation, afforestation, exploitation of marine potential, etc.).

Combined with the development of renewable energies and the improvement of energy efficiency, “negative emissions” technologies offer promising solutions. However, several major questions remain regarding their viability (large-scale deployment, technical and scientific requirements, risk management, costs, etc.).

With the launch of the research chair "Carbon management and negative CO2 emissions technologies towards a low carbon future" (CarMa), IFP School aims to provide concrete answers to these questions and to accelerate research on carbon management and negative emissions technologies.

The Chair focuses on the development of innovative solutions to reduce the emissions of anthropogenic CO2 into the atmosphere.

This five-year chair is supported by two of the School's historic partners: TotalEnergies and the Fondation Tuck

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Training, education and outreach: the 3 cornerstones of the Chair

The CarMa Chair has set the three following objectives:

1. Training: to contribute to the training of a new generation of international researchers and experts who will develop economically acceptable approaches and technologies in line with societal expectations, to maintain the CO2 content of the atmosphere at a level that meets the requirements set by the Paris Agreement.

2. Education: to develop skills and pedagogical tools in the fields of carbon dioxide management and negative emissions technologies.

3. Outreach: to promote research results and make educational tools widely available to raise public awareness and enrich public debate on reducing CO2 emissions.
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Research areas

Research focuses on four topics:

  • technologies used to capture CO2 directly from the atmosphere;
  • the permanent storage of CO2;
  • the use of biomass for carbon fixation;
  • the use/conversion of CO2.

Ultimately, the Chair will integrate the work of 7 doctoral and 5 post-doctoral researchers and will also call on several scientific visitors.

Co-holders of the Chair

  • Jean-Pierre Deflandre, teacher-researcher, Professor at the IFP School’s Center of Georesources and energy
  • Olivier Massol, Scientific advisor to the Dean of IFP School

Scientific Council

A scientific council, composed of five independent and internationally recognized experts, oversees the Chair.

President of the Scientific Council

Dr. Roger Aines, Energy Program Chief Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (California, USA)

Members of the Scientific Council

Dr. Sabine Fuss, Head of working group Sustainable Resource Management and Global Change, Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (Berlin, Germany)

Dr. Volker Sick, Director of the Global CO2 Initiative, University of Michigan (Michigan, USA)

Dr. Jean-François Soussana, Vice-President in charge of international affairs, Institut national de la recherche agronomique (Paris, France)

Dr. Jennifer Wilcox, the "James H. Manning" Chaired Professor of Chemical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Massachusetts, USA)

Doctoral and post-doctoral offers

To this date, all doctoral and post-doctoral offers under the CarMa Chair have been filled.

For new offers, please check out the Chair's website regularly.