Summer, 2010

  • Water/air disinfection or decontamination using novel photocatalysis technology.

The proposed research concerns the improvement of commercially available titanium dioxide (TiO2) photocatalysts for applications such as purification and disinfection of water and air contaminated with organic, heavy metal and microbiological species, and generation of hydrogen from water using solar energy.

  • Hydrogen production, storage and conversion using Fuel Cells.

Exploring the new and novel alternative energy sources is vital for replacing the depleting fossil fuels. Hydrogen is such a secondary source of energy that can be produced from solar PV and PEC technologies and routinely used in Fuel cells to generate electricity. A reversible storage of hydrogen in solid form is needed for on-board vehicles. The proposed research will design and develop novel solid state complex hydrides, polymeric nanostructures for storing hydrogen at practical temperature and pressure conditions.

  • Carbon sequestration and Capture by solid electrolytic cells

The rapid increase in the concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) as a result of anthropogenic activities have  captured global attention for the past decade, with governments and private sectors working hand-in-hand on different solutions capable of mitigating increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere. The primary objective of this work is to develop an electrochemical system which utilizes carbon dioxide (CO2) as a feedstock for chemical synthesis. The holistic approach and global advantages offered by this project through the utilization of carbon dioxide (CO2) as chemical synthesis feedstock to reduce pollution by greenhouse gases is enormous. More also, the development of such system will ultimately provide a vista to the long-term search for carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration methods. Preliminary studies have shown that the overall Faradaic efficiency can be up to 120% with net energy output of about +1.06V. The entropy and enthalpy of the system depict a spontaneous process, since the reaction is highly exergonic. Specific objectives include:

  1. The development of an electrolytic cell/apparatus which consists of inlet and outlet gas monitoring and control systems that operate between 120-145 oC.
  2. Evaluate and design catalytic materials for the formation of reaction electrodes.
  3. Investigate solid membranes with good conductivity and durability under the electrochemical reaction conditions.
  • Pyrolysis behavior of organic materials for production of biochar and other materials

Wide spread utilization of biochar in carbon sequestration applications and in enhancing soil health and quality have created a large interest in the development of new technologies for the production of biochar from biomass, and the characterization and evaluation of such biochar materials. The focus of this project is to explore novel methods and techniques for the synthesis, analysis, and characterization as well as different applications of biochar.

  • Advanced corrosion studies on ferro-chromium steels under extreme conditions for simulation and development of  Generation IV nuclear reactor materials.

Ferro-chromium steels are candidate materials to be used extensively in the next generation (Generation IV) of nuclear reactors. Such applications involve extreme operating conditions such as high pressures and temperatures. This research project involves the investigation of the corrosion and degradation resistance of structural materials, such as carbon steel and stainless steel that are potential candidate materials for Generation IV nuclear reactors. The project employs state-of-the-art corrosion measurement equipment and techniques such as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS).

  • Water Treatment  methodologies for the  removal of arsenic and other contaminants in water using  Fenton's reagent