Clean Processing Technologies
Our current research applies thermodynamics, kinetics, and catalysis to clean manufacturing alternatives (pollution prevention), waste treatment (process effluents), and remediation of contaminated sites. To accomplish these objectives, we have worked on the development of new thermodynamic databases and estimation methods for a wide variety of physical and environmental properties. This information impacts both process design and environmental fate assessment. Several projects with both industry and government agencies are ongoing.
Similarly, our research group has looked at the design of oxidation reactors for waste stream cleanup utilizing ozone, catalytic wet oxidation, thermal oxidation, and photocatalysis. An insight into catalyst and reactor design is required for many of these new applications. Our most recent work is in the area of separative reactors, a promising new set of technologies that may significantly reduce the waste produced within a chemical production process.
Particles and Materials
In the area of ceramics and particle technology, we are learning to make new catalyst and adsorbent materials, as well as inorganic membranes that can be used in the development of new, clean manufacturing processes. These advanced materials can be used for new reactor and separator designs, fuel cells and batteries, and catalytic membrane reactors. Treatment of ceramic, polymer, and particulate surfaces fits into the mix of new technologies for these advanced materials.
We employ sol-gel, vapor, and plasma techniques to modify surfaces to achieve the desired catalytic, electronic, or physical properties. We subsequently use a variety of spectroscopic and physical techniques to characterize the materials developed.