Our May 2021 evening seminar presented the topic of enhancing the performance and longevity of Sustainable Energy Systems by Engineering Interfacial Interactions.
|Topic:||Evening presentation: Enhancing the Performance and Longevity of
Sustainable Energy Systems by Engineering Interfacial Interactions
Dr. Sami Khan, Ph.D
|Date:||Wednesday May 19|
|Time:||7:00 pm - 9:00 pm|
|Venue:||Webinar via Microsoft Teams|
The development of alternative clean energy technologies and greener processes to produce chemicals is driven by the growing need to reduce carbon footprint. With any conversion processes, especially those that involve aqueous environments, there exist fundamental challenges such as 1) maximizing activity (rate of generation of products of interest), 2) selectivity to these products, and 3) longevity and reliability towards maintaining continuous, sustained operations. These challenges often arise from interactions at interfaces, including both electrochemical reactions (e.g., evolution of methane and ethanol from a catalyst surface during electroreduction of CO2) and physical interactions (e.g., sticking of methane bubbles and ethanol layers to the electrocatalyst), occurring at distinct length-scales and timescales. Deciphering and controlling mechanisms underlying these interactions is critical to designing improved and long-lasting sustainable energy and chemical generation systems.
This talk introduces the topics of interfacial engineering methods to enhance the rate and conversion of CO2 capture, and control detrimental processes such as corrosion and hydrogen embrittlement. A special class of ceramics comprising the lanthanide series rare-earth oxides (REOs) were discussed for their potential in enhancing the longevity of sustainable energy systems by repelling water and scale formation. Thin-film coatings of these hydrophobic REOs show sustained dropwise condensation behavior for over 100 hours at accelerated saturated steam conditions without compromising structural integrity or hydrophobicity, and produce a tenfold enhancement in the heat transfer co-efficient (103 ± 5 kW/m2K) compared to conventional filmwise condensation (usually <10 kW/m2K). Applications of robust hydrophobic coatings and interfacial engineering techniques in a variety of sustainable energy systems were discussed.