Research Seminar Series

Please contact the Seminar Series Coordinators if you have any queries regarding any upcoming events.

Audrey Luiz, Room 413,

Carbon and Graphene-based Materials for Energy-relevant Electrocatalytic Processes

Professor Shi-Zhang Qiao
Venue: Level 3, Lecture Theatre 2, Chemical Engineering Building
Date: Thursday 24 July 2014
Time: 11am
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About the Speaker

Prof. Shi-Zhang Qiao received his PhD degree in chemical engineering from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2000, and is currently a professor (Chair of Nanotechnology) at School of Chemical Engineering of the University of Adelaide, and an Honorary Professor at The University of Queensland, Australia. His research expertise is in nanomaterials and nanoporous materials for drug/gene delivery and new energy technologies. He has co-authored more than 190 papers in refereed journals (8200 citations with h-index 47), including Nature, Nature Communications, J. Am. Chem. Soc, Angew. Chem., Adv. Mater., and has filed several patents on novel nanomaterials that are promising for drug/gene delivery, fuel cells, photocatalysis and lithium ion battery.
Prof. Qiao was honoured with a prestigious ARC Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA, 2013), a Emerging Researcher Award (2013, ENFL Division of the American Chemical Society) and a UQ Foundation Research Excellence Award (2008). He has also been awarded an ARC ARF Fellowship, an ARC APD Fellowship and an inaugural UQ Mid-Career Research Fellowship. Professor Qiao is currently an Associate Editor of Journal of Materials Chemistry A and appointed to ARC College of Experts.

Details

Replacement of precious metal catalysts by commercially available alternatives is of great importance among both fundamental and practical catalysis research. Nanostructured carbon and graphene-based materials demonstrated promising catalytic properties in a wide range of energy generation/storage applications. Specifically engineering graphene and porous carbon with guest atoms can improve its catalytic activity for electrochemical oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER), thus can be considered as potential substitutes for the expensive Pt/C catalyst in fuel cells or metal-air batteries. In this presentation, we will talk about the synthesis of metal free elements-doped graphene (B,N-graphene, S,N-graphene) and 3-D porous g-C3N4@Carbon materials, and their application on electrocatalysis. The excellent ORR and OER performance (high catalytic activity and efficiency) and reliable stability (much better than the commercial Pt/C) indicate that new materials are promising candidates for the next generation of highly efficient electrocatalysts.
We will also briefly introduce our work on the synthesis of other carbon-based materials and their applications on energy storage and conversion.


Artificial leaves: a pathway toward CO2 photo-sequestration/utilization

Mobin Arab
Venue: Level 3, Lecture Theatre 2, Chemical Engineering Building
Date: Wednesday 11 July 2014
Time: 11am
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About the Speaker

Mobin graduated from bachelor degree in chemical engineer in 2005. After working for a while in engineering
positions, he became interested in energy issues of processes and started his studies in energy systems
engineering at master level in Sharif University of Technology, Iran. After completing a prosperous degree, he
restarted his work in a proactive company with proven record in climate change projects including feasibility study
of energy saving projects and evaluation and implementation of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project
activities. Meanwhile, he was cooperating with other organizations to establish infrastructures of combating climate
change in Iran. During his work, he mostly dealt with GHG emissions estimations, identification of GHG mitigation
opportunities, establishing carbon management systems, simulating and optimizing energy systems, and business
development in energy and carbon field.
He started his work as research assistant in chemical and biomolecular department of the University of Sydney in
Nov. 2011 working on working fluid synthesis and optimization for solar applications. He started his PhD in CO2 photo-utilization/sequestration in the same department in August 2012 in the Laboratory for Sustainable
Technology.

Details

About 120 years is passed from the day that Arrhenius suggested there could be a close relationship between
concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and the ground-level temperature. Now after long disputes about the
nature of the so-called climate change and considering a variety of causes (e.g. solar cycles, cosmetic rays, cloud
feedback etc.), it is generally accepted that human industrial activity and the consequent emission of GHGs is the
only viable factor for the newly rapid change in the global temperature. At the moment, it is accepted that the 2 °C
increase in global temperature is unavoidable. To prevent further increase in global temperature (above 4 °C) all
technologies related to CO2 reduction (including deploying renewable source, carbon capture and sequestration,
energy efficiency improvement etc.) should be fully deployed by 2050. However, this seems unlikely to happen
given the rate of technology development, economy growth rate and existing political desire to do so. Therefore, a
sustainable method of CO2 capture, utilization and sequestration will be highly in demand to reduce further
emission of CO2 or remove the CO2 that has been already emitted to mitigate the cumulative CO2 inventory in the
atmosphere. In this seminar, we talk about “Artificial leaves” to capture and utilize/sequester CO2 in a single device
using the most abundant renewable source of energy, sun light.