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Hosted by the dynamic duo, Dr. César A. Urbina-Blanco and Dr. Barbara Sowa, the Cheers to CO2 podcast will keep you up to date on the latest breakthroughs in CO2 research and decarbonization. But it's not all about science - "Cheers to CO2" also aims to foster a community of like-minded individuals interested in Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage. Whether you're a researcher, policy expert, industrial partner, student, or simply someone who wants to gain valuable insights into the critical topic of circular economy, this podcast with 8 episodes is for you. So, tune in and join the conversation with "Cheers to CO2" - where there's always something new to learn!

Our hosts

Barbara Sowa

Dr. Barbara Sowa is a results-driven manager with extensive experience in the CO2 pipeline of the CAPTURE initiative. Her current role is to facilitate collaborations between academic and industrial partners to develop projects focused on carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies. She has a PhD in physical chemistry and practical experience in gas hydrates from her work at CSIRO and the University of Melbourne. Her two postdoctoral positions, one at Pretoria University and a second at University of Gent, allowed her to gain hands-on experience in the synthesis of thermocatalytic hydrogenation of CO2 to formate and the electrochemical conversion of CO2. Her passion for sustainable technologies and expertise in managing projects and networking make her an excellent resource for anyone interested in the field.

Get to know Barbara: LinkedIN & website


Dr. Cesar A. Urbina-Blanco is a renowned chemist and a business developer at Sunthetics, a company that uses machine learning algorithms to optimize the chemical industry and reduce resource wastage. Dr. Urbina-Blanco obtained his Ph.D. in Green Chemistry and Catalysis from the University of St Andrews in 2013. Throughout his career, he has worked as a researcher at top universities such as New York University, Ghent University, and RWTH Aachen, and prestigious research institutes like ICCOM-CNR and ICIQ. Dr. Urbina-Blanco has won several awards such as FWO Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship and was named a Future Leader of Chemistry by CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society. His extensive knowledge and expertise in the fields of Green Chemistry and Catalysis, combined with his passion for sustainability and reducing carbon emissions, make him the ideal host of the "Cheers to CO2" podcast.

Get to know Cesar: LinkedIN, Twitter & website

Our sponsors

This podcast is sponsored by Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) under the WOG CCU (2021-2026) and CAPTURE.

WOG CCU stands for Scientific Research Network: “Catalysis for CCU: Valorisation of CO and CO2 via Carbon Capture and Utilisation”. It assembles multidisciplinary and complementary expertise for the various steps of the CCU value-chain and encompasses 21 research units from UAntwerp, UGent, UHasselt, VUB, VITO, KULeuven, DIFFER, MCEC and the Max Planck Institute for CEC. The network includes expertise in sorption and separation (VITO’s sustainable materials group, ELCAT, CHIS, ORSY), chemical looping (LCT, INCAT), homogenous catalysis (Nolan group, INCAT), heterogenous catalysis (LCT, COK, CSCE, MCEC, ORSY, INCAT, LADCA), photocatalysis and electrocatalysis (ELCAT, VITO’s sustainable chemistry group, ORSY, DuEL, LADCA), biotechnology (VITO’s sustainable chemistry group, CMET), plasma catalysis (DIFFER, PLASMANT). The involved research units brings expertise in experimental and modeling catalysis, synthesis and molecular design of materials for catalysis (CMM, MATCHEM, ORSY), reactor development (VITO, UAntwerp, VUB, UGent, KULeuven). The groups from VITO provide insights regarding a techno-economic analysis to identify market trends and the potential scale of an integrated CO2 utilization plant from the lowest TRL, to allow fast market introduction. The goal is to build a CCU network relevant to the Flemish/European industrial landscape, focused on sharing best practices and knowledge; stimulating collaboration; exposing young researchers; creating a community; being a go-to place for expertise; and sharing resources that individual researchers and knowledge institutes lack. The contact person: Mark Saeys (LCT, UGent,

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