Dr. Peters' research is environmental engineering of decarbonization. This research is motivated by the overarching grand challenge that we must prepare for a sustainable future in which our world’s energy needs are met while protecting natural resources and minimizing risks to humanity. A focus of Dr. Peters' group is the science and innovation of negative emissions technologies that capture and sequester carbon. In particular, her group has made significant advancements in emerging subsurface energy technologies including geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide. Dr. Peters calls for a transformative view of the subsurface, saying: "In the 21st century we will vastly expand the use of the subsurface for activities that positively affect the climate, including geothermal energy production, subsurface energy storage and permanent disposal of greenhouse gases as by geologic carbon sequestration."
Dr. Peters and her team study processes at many length scales ranging from chemical processes at the nanometer scale to mass transport at the sedimentary basin scale. Her group applies a range of approaches, including laboratory experiments for experimental investigation, materials characterization via X-ray spectroscopy and electron microscopy, and mathematical modeling for reactive transport simulations. Dr. Peters works with colleagues at other universities and national labs, often at DOE user facilities such as synchrotron beam lines. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency.