Research

Currently, our approaches are electrochemical in nature. We are utilizing knowledge and technology developed in the advanced Li-ion/Li-battery field to develop new gas-to-solid and other molecular electrochemical reactions, and to explore new frontiers in nonaqueous electrochemistry opened up by exciting work in these areas.

 

New high-energy primary energy reactions

We are interested in systems coupling alkali and alkaline earth anodes with novel cathode reactions to yield cell voltages greater than 3 V. We use thermodynamics to predict available reactions and employ material and cell design approaches to harness them efficiently and selectively. In addition to high potentials, we are also exploring systems capable of undergoing multi-electron transfer reactions (n>4) to deliver high capacities.

 

Greenhouse gas capture and conversion, sensors, and waste-to-energy systems

Among the gases listed on the Kyoto Protocol and targeted under the Paris Agreements, fluorinated gases are among the most long-lived in the Earth’s atmosphere, with global warming potentials up to 23,000 times higher than CO2. We are developing room-temperature technologies to capture and convert concentrated waste streams of fluorinated gases to benign products, while simultaneously delivering electrical energy that can be used to reduce the energy and economic costs of capture. We are also interested in developing new concepts for electrochemical sensors that can help identify and prevent unwanted emissions.

 

Distributed COcapture technologies

Our group is using combined chemical-electrochemical approaches for CO2 capture and conversion in nonaqueous systems to target distributed emissions.

 

Fundamental advances in gas-to-solid electrochemical systems

Fundamental understanding of gas-to-solid reactions is still in a nascent stage. Though perhaps best exemplified by Li-O2 battery systems, gas-to-solid reactions could have impact in a much broader range of technology areas including energy storage and delivery, environmental cleanup, additive manufacturing, materials synthesis, sensors, energy harvesting, and gas environment control. We are studying fundamental behaviors of reactive systems employing dissolved gases including solubilization and transport processes with previously unexplored gas chemistries, their polarization behavior at electrodes and effect on electron transfer, and control over phase transformations and solid phase processes.