Tom Woo


Tom Woo develops new advanced materials for capturing CO2. Woo has created algorithms to virtually construct and simulate the carbon capture process in hypothetical materials, enabling him to focus on the most promising materials. Compute Canada resources are enabling a partnership with Inventys, a Vancouver start-up, to screen materials tailored to its carbon-capture process.

Woo’s research is focused on developing new advanced materials for capturing CO2 from burning fossil fuels to mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions from these energy sources. Coal combustion to generate electricity alone accounts for 40 per cent of the world’s CO2 emissions. Unfortunately, there is no cost-effective or energy efficient means of removing CO2 from coal combustion gases. Woo’s lab has developed algorithms to virtually construct hypothetical materials and to simulate the CO2 capture process in these materials at the atomic level. These simulations are used to screen and identify promising materials that can make post-combustion CO2 capture a practical reality. To date, Compute Canada resources have been used to screen hundreds of thousands of candidate materials, resulting in several promising materials being identified that are now being synthesized in the labs of collaborators. Compute Canada resources have also enabled a partnership with Inventys that is now building a post-combustion CO2 capture pilot plant based on their VeloxoTherm technology. Compute Canada resources will be used to virtually screen new materials that will be specifically tailored to the VeloxoTherm process, so as to optimize the its energy efficiency, thereby making it an even more cost-effective means of capturing CO2.