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Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Mississippi


Event Information:

  • Tue

    Colloquium: Efficient Carbon Modification for Sustainable Food/Energy/Water Nexus

    4:00 pmLewis Hall 101

    Baharak Sajjadi
    Department of Chemical Engineering
    University of Mississippi

    Efficient Carbon Modification for Sustainable Food/Energy/Water Nexus

    Climate change mitigation is arguably the leading grand challenge facing mankind. Our critical reviews of physical modifications (Reviews in Chemical Engineering, 2018. in press, and chemical modifications (Reviews in Chemical
    , 2018. in press, of biochar in addition to our experimental results suggest that acoustic, photochemical and plasma treatments, in selected reaction environments and conditions; are capable of inducing either structural or functional group changes on carbonaceous materials. These tunable, low energy treatments have potential to mitigate climate change through a number of transformative tracks.

    The pioneering work of our transdisciplinary team revealed that single-staged ultrasound and photochemical treatments of
    biochar in H2O with dissolved CO2 results in fixation of C from CO2 on biochar, fixation of H from water on biochar, mineral leaching by water including minerals detrimental to gasification, increase in biochar's heating value (due to the 3 processes stated above), and increase in biochar's internal surface area (AIChE Journal, 2014. 60 (3):1054-1065). These synergisms seem to be tunable by feedstock, reactants stoichiometry and reaction conditions in pyrolysis, and treatments (Fuel, 2019. 235:1131-1145). Carbon and hydrogen fixations seem to be connected to the formation of H2, CO, formic acid, formaldehyde, and associated radicals during sonolysis of aqueous CO2. Similar to ultrasound waves, non-thermal plasma  can split water vapor and CO2 to excited chemicals and fuels including methanol, H2 and CO (Current Opinion in Green & Sustainable Chemistry, 2017. 3:45-49). The presence of carbon in the plasma system has not been explored. However, treatment of biochar in non-thermal chlorine plasma yields a high adsorption capacity of elemental mercury in flue gas due to the creation of Cl-active sites (Chemical Engineering Journal, 2018. 331C:536-544).

    In this seminar, we will discuss the potential routes of the observed synergisms in mitigation of climate change through CO2
    capture/recycle, energy production through advanced gasification, Remediation of global carbon cycle
    (Fuel, 2018. 225
    :287-298) & water resource (Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, 2018, in press). These treatments can also open new routes for tackling challenges such as water desalination through functionalized defected graphene membrane.