Surface Science

Electrocatalytic CO2 reduction reaction: Multiscale modelling of transport, catalyst surface evolution, and reaction processes

According to the Paris climate accord signed in 2016 with the aim of substantially lowering the risks and impacts of climate change, the goal is to pursue technologies that can limit the rise in average global temperature to ~1.5 degree C above the pre-industrial levels by 2050. One of the important greenhouse gas emissions being targeted is carbon dioxide. Currently, production of commodities crucially linked to growth and development, such as cement, steel, plastic, ammonia and aluminum, are resulting in large CO2 emissions.

Combined theory and experimental study of controlled metal (electro)dissolution for water disinfection

Metal dissolution is often used to kill bacteria in water. Upon dissolving the metal forms ions which can effectively kill E. coli. There is a significant need to understand the dissolution mechanism and design/control the process. The overall dissolution rates depend primarily on factors such as the overpotential, electrode surface area, temperature, and pH.

CFD based investigation of the dynamics, stability and transition regimes of gravity driven rivulets and other constrained liquid surfaces.

The project envisages an experimental and CFD investigation of the stability of thin films of liquid flowing down inclined solid surfaces. Such flows frequently display a plethora of regimes as the flow rate is increased (meandering, braiding and many more) and knowledge of these leads to improved mass and heat transfer predictions in many industrial applications [1]. The stability of such flows sensitively depends on the wettability of the solid surface by the liquid. In this project, the student will build upon work by an existing Ph.D. student in the lab.

Design and synthesis studies of porous/catalytic materials

The synthesis of porous catalytic materials has profound impact in the chemical industries. The effectiveness of these materials is governed by the structure and surface morphology which is controlled by the synthesis parameters (such as temperature, synthesis time, pH, additives). This project is aimed at understanding role of synthesis parameters for the better control over porosity, surface morphology and structure of porous catalytic materials using simulations and possible experiments.

Simulation study of Enhance Oil Recovery

The crude oil in direct contact with mineral surface needs to be displaced using external medium (solvent + additives) in the secondary and tertiary phase of recovery. The mechanism of replacement is governed by the structural and energetic behaviour of interfacial system (solvent + additives + hydrocarbon oil) at the mineral surface. This project is aimed to obtained molecular understanding of the interfacial system (crude oil+solvent+mineral) to design better displacing agents for the economic recovery of oil.

Chemical sensor development for water contaminants and technology for their removal

Continuous monitoring of water quality parameters, like total dissolved solids, heavy metals, inorganic ions, organic pollutants an important measurement, to ascertain quality and use of a water body. This is critical for both a flowing water-stream (river, canal) or a stagnant water-pool, like a lake.