Today, energy and environment are arguably the two principal challenges facing mankind in its quest for sustainable development. Obtaining energy in an environmentally sustainable manner provides a unique challenge and opportunity for chemical engineers. Our focus is on chemical, electrochemical and photoelectrochemical methods of energy capture, storage and conversion utilizing the synergy between phenomenological modeling and systematic experimentation. The energy research portfolio encompasses experimental work on development and characterization of solid oxide and charged ultrafiltration membrane fuel cells, in-situ H generation and storage, 2 electrochemical batteries, photovoltaic and tailored nano/microcatalysts for specific process applications. In addition, quantum chemical density functional theory, molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo methods and continuum transport modeling approaches are applied for developing a fundamental understanding of relevant phenomena at different scales and applying these tools for synthesizing functionally superior materials for energy capture, storage and conversion.
The department is actively engaged in carrying out fundamental as well as applied research towards developing green technologies. These range from the synthesis of carbon nanofibers and carbon nanoparticles based adsorbents and catalysts for air and water remediation, to the design and development of novel membrane separation techniques for the treatment of industrial effluents and the development of silicon and conducting polymer based chemical sensors for environmental pollution monitoring. Several industrial and government sponsored projects support the various research activities related to the technology development in air and water pollution monitoring and abatement.