Rice-led Project to Advance Decarbonization Receives $12.5 Million

Member Updates,

Rice University and Woodside Energy have announced a ground-breaking five-year technology collaboration aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing lower carbon solutions. Woodside will provide $12.5 million to fund the creation of the Woodside-Rice Decarbonization Accelerator, an initiative that aims to bring breakthrough decarbonization technology from the Rice labs to market.

“This collaboration is a testament to the power of merging academic expertise with industry insight and support. Together, we aspire to redefine the future of energy and climate,” said Rice University President Reginald DesRoches. “Our announcement today is an important step toward achieving that task.”

“Net Zero is not a destination but a journey. Over the next 10 years emerging and breakthrough technologies must come to market if society is to meet its climate goals,” said Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill. “We are proud to work with a world-class university like Rice to help meet that challenge.”

Speaking to an audience in Houston to announce the new collaboration, Paul Cherukuri, Rice’s Chief Innovation Officer, noted Rice’s expertise. “Rice boasts a distinguished track record in carbon research and innovation. We are excited to focus the expertise of Rice’s brilliant faculty and students in collaboration with Woodside Energy to accelerate and scale up the commercialization of new technologies. I look forward to working with Woodside and my esteemed Rice colleagues including Aditya Mohite, Naomi Halas, Pulickel Ajayan, Bruce Weisman and Peter Nordlander.”

Speaking at the same event, Woodside Executive Vice President of Technical Services Daniel Kalms emphasized the significance of the new collaboration being based in Houston. “Houston, as the world's energy capital, is perfectly positioned to help develop the breakthrough technologies needed for the energy transition. Rice is a great Houston institution with a long history of being a global thought leader in all things energy. This collaboration is a great fit with Woodside as a leading global energy company.”

The goal of the accelerator is to fast-track the commercialization of technologies, with a specific focus on manufacturing products derived from captured carbon dioxide and methane. Specifically, Rice hopes to leverage cold plasma technology, a unique approach to breaking down carbon dioxide. These products have potential applications to make better batteries, transistors, and other critical materials for energy technologies.