Research talks from Resnick Graduate Research Fellow Cody Finke & Resnick Postdoctoral Scholar Justin Jasper
Please join us!
Finke's talk: "Proof of Concept for Using Atomic Layer Deposition to Tune Surface Electronics and Catalytic Overpotentials of a Heterogeneous Electrocatalyst, Applied to IrO2 as a Chlorine Evolution Reaction Catalyst for Wastewater Treatment in the Developing World"
Rational optimization is a critical problem in the field of heterogeneous electrocatalysis, and more tools are needed to be able to rationally create and tune catalytic active sites. By coating the chlorine evolution reaction (CER) catalyst IrO2 with a small number of TiO2 atomic layer deposition (ALD) cycles, the catalytic parameters may be tuned in a Sabatier-like manner. Potential of Zero Charge measurements show that adding different numbers of ALD cycles of TiO2 works to tune the surface electronics to an intermediate state between TiO2 and IrO2. This is a proof of concept that ALD can be used to tune the surface electronics of a catalyst for the environmentally important CER. Based on this proof of concept, it may be possible to use ALD to tune the electronic properties of other electrocatalysts for reactions or to tune non-precious metal based catalysts to be active for critical reactions.
Jasper's talk: "Fate of Organic Chemicals during Electrochemical Wastewater Treatment: Pharmaceuticals and Disinfection By-Products"
Electrochemical processes holds promise for decentralized wastewater treatment, especially in developing countries where the infrastructure for conventional wastewater treatment is not available. While electrochemical treatment efficiently disinfects wastewater and removes nutrients, its ability to transform wastewater-derived trace organic contaminants, such as pharmaceuticals, is poorly understood. My talk will show that pharmaceuticals are efficiently transformed during electrochemical treatment, primarily via reaction with reactive chlorine species generated on mixed-metal anodes. Halogenated transformation products, which may be more toxic than parent compounds, also typically undergo further transformation during treatment. However, the production of regulated disinfection by-products, including haloacetic acids and trihalomethanes, during electrochemical wastewater treatment remains a cause for concern.