Our lab's mission is to better understand and mitigate major environmental challenges while providing deep learning experiences for students and post-docs.
Chris has been an assistant professor at Penn State University since 2012. Before that, he was a post-doctoral scholar at Eawag in Switzerland. Over his career, he has gained an expertise in environmental redox chemistry, with emphases on electrochemistry and spectroscopy. View his CV here or his publications on google scholar.
Taeyoung has been in the group since January, 2015. He is co-advised by Chris and Bruce Logan. He is currently working on using electrochemical cells to desalinate water, harvest salinity gradient energy, and capture nutrients from wastewater.
Jenelle joined the group in Fall 2016. She is co-advised by Chris and Bruce Logan. She is currently studying the properties of manganese oxide electrode used to desalinate water and harvest salinity gradient energy. She was recently awarded the Young Scientist Best Poster Award at the national Electrochemical Society in the Battery Division for her work on pH-gradient batteries.
Prachi joined the lab in 2013. She is close to finishing her PhD on iron oxide recrystallization. Here CV can be downloaded here.
Mim joined the group in January 2015 as a PhD student in chemical engineering. He was co-advised by Chris and Bruce Logan. His dissertation research focused on converting low-grade waste heat to electricity, using a thermally regenerative ammonia battery. Mim successfully defended his PhD dissertation after 2 years and 10 months in September 2017. During his PhD, he authored and co-authored 11 peer-reviewed articles, including a review paper in the Energy & Environmental Science journal. He is going to start his new career as a postdoctoral research associate at MIT starting from February 2018. More information can be found at his website or in this video, where he explains his PhD research.
The goal of our lab's research is to better understand and mitigate major environmental challenges while providing deep learning experiences for students and post-docs. Some of the current projects we are working on are:
Electricity can be used to convert salt water into freshwater and a concentrated brine. Similarly, mixing two waters with different salt concentrations can be used to produce electricity. We aim to make these conversions as efficient as possible using techniques borrowed from conventional batteries. We are particularly interested in developing novel electrode materials and water chemistries. This work is supported by the US NSF, Penn State University, and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).
Many minerals contain metals, such as iron and manganese, that can participate in redox (i.e., electron transfer) reactions with dissolved species in water. These reacions can influence the fate of pollutants and nutrients in the environment, affect the global carbon cycle, and can be used to generate and store energy. We aim to characterize the mechanisms and thermodynamics of electron transfer reactions involving minerals to further our abilities to understand and exploit them (e.g., as electrode materials in batteries). This work is funded by the US NSF.
The isotopic and elemental compositions of minerals are used to reconstruct past conditions on Earth and other planets. Additionally, minerals can incorporate or release trace elements, which can be used for remediation purposes. Our team is interested in how a mineral's composition changes under equilibrium conditions. Recent work by our group and others have found that atoms within a mineral can isotopically mix with dissolved ions under apparent equilibrium conditions. Remarkably, this exchange occurs without any major changes in the mineral's structure, shape, or size. This work is funded by the US NSF.
Dr. Gorski regularly teaches the following classes at Penn State. Course materials will be shared upon request.
Our group works closely with the Penn State College of Science Office of Outreach and Engagement to engage young students in topics related to our research, including an annual summer camp called Water Heroes. A video from the camp in 2016 can be viewed here Course materials are available upon request.
The most up-to-date list of our publications can be found on google scholar.