Development of Electrode Materials for Water Treatment Applications
University of Illinois at Chicago
Electrochemical advanced oxidation processes (EAOPs) have emerged as promising water treatment technologies for the elimination of a broad-range of organic contaminants, including poly- and perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS). Progress in EAOPs has been facilitated by the development of stable electrode materials that have a high overpotential for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and thus efficiently generate high yields of hydroxyl radicals. However, key challenges remain, including low reaction rates for recalcitrant contaminants (e.g., PFAS), toxic byproduct formation, low electro-active surface area, and costly electrode materials.
This seminar will discuss ongoing research efforts aimed at advancing EAOPs, which includes the synthesis of selective electrodes for the minimization of byproduct formation and development of inexpensive, high surface area, porous electrodes for enhanced electrochemical activity. A combination of electrochemical reactivity experiments, electrochemical characterization, and mathematical modeling was used to develop an understanding of the interactions of contaminants at electrode surfaces. Results from this work are being used to develop more efficient and compact treatment technologies, including ‘self-cleaning’ membranes and multi-functional point-of-use water treatment devices.
Dr. Brian P. Chaplin is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), with a courtesy appointment in the Civil, Materials, and Environmental Engineering department at UIC. His postdoctoral training was in the area of electrochemistry at the University of Arizona and he obtained his Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Environmental Engineering. Prof. Chaplin also holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Minnesota in Civil Engineering. Research and educational activities in his Echem Lab at UIC are focused on novel electrochemical and catalytic processes for water treatment, with an emphasis on developing technologies that promote water sustainability. He is a recipient of the 2015 National Science Foundation Early CAREER Development Award, 2019 Environmental Science and Technology Early Career Scientist Award, and 2018 Environmental Science and Technology best paper award in the area of Environmental Technology.