In our fast-paced growing society and continuously changing environment, there are two ways of responding to energy and environmental related challenges: reactively or proactively. The faculty and researchers of EME strive to design the future and are committed to push the existing boundaries of knowledge towards sustainable engineering and science practices through the advancement of technologies and materials.
The Advanced Technology and Materials for Energy and Environmental Applications cluster aims to educate future decision makers in the industry and shift paradigms in engineering in the 21st century.
This research cluster emphasizes on the development of technologies, which will shape the contemporary energy applications and environmental stewardship, and materials which will improve their performance for sustainable future. Examples of research in this pursuit include:
- Advanced power generation methods, like oxy-fuel combustion or coal and biomass co-gasification. Our interests are in designing entrained flow gasification process, at high temperature and pressures under corrosive environment. Specific research includes identifying an optimum condition of solid loading, particle-size distribution, type of additive and dosage of additive for a given carbonaceous solid-water slurry.
- Extraction and separation of critical materials from conventional and unconventional sources. Our research focuses on the development of reliable methods to characterize deposits of critical materials, advanced technologies for separation including bio-geochemical methods and solid-state separation technology.
- Reinforced polymer composite for hydrogen storage. Our approach is to synthesize carbon nanotubes directly upon the metal foil to form a distributed interface when incorporated into the polymer matrix, bridging the dissimilar materials. This will result in strong interfacial bonding that is fundamental to composite reinforcement and consequently safe and efficient hydrogen storage
- Understanding carbon formation and deposition mechanisms to control structure, properties and kinetics of desirable and undesirable coke formation and the production of carbon materials. Our specific interests are in Carbon materials from petroleum and coal and carbon composite materials, Graphitic carbon through carbonaceous mesophase formation, preparation of activated carbons from biomass
In tandem to these technologies, materials research is essential to revitalize the energy sector and increase the efficacy of many environmental systems. EME researchers combine these materials with the above technologies to advance multi-variable processes, such as unconventional oil and gas extraction, mining operations or treatment of wastes produced from these activities. Examples of these materials span from synthesizing thin films for photovoltaic devices, developing materials for hydrogen storage to innovating adsorbents for selective recovery of critical materials.