Our research focuses primarily on the development of electrochemical processes to facilitate chemical separations and to mediate the transformation of captured waste to useful commodity chemicals. The electrochemically-mediated separation processes that are currently under development and investigation in our group can primarily be divided into two areas: carbon capture (particularly for post-combustion carbon dioxide capture at coal-fired power plants) and water purification (including decontamination of waste water and desalination). Electrochemical processes are also being explored as a means to facilitate chemical sequestration of carbon dioxide. These research projects are supported by both government agencies and industrial partners.
We also have expertise in the synthesis, understanding, and application of stimuli-responsive materials, which include nanoparticles, nanofibers, surfactants, polymers and gels. Responsive gels, polymers and surfactants have a wide variety of applications, for example, drug delivery, protein and environmental separations and rheology and surface tension modification. We have particular experience with redox-active polymers for selective separations. We also use superparamagnetic nanoparticles (e.g. magnetic fluids) in environmental, biological and chemical separations.