Chemical and Biological Engineering Spring 2023 Seminar- “Electrocatalysis for Energy Intensive Applications”

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering will host Ahmad M. Harzandi, a senior research associate in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology, for its Spring 2023 Seminar. The event is open to the public.

When: Wednesday, January 25, at 3:15-4:30 p.m.

Where: Perlstein Hall auditorium, Room 131

Biography: Ahmad M. Harzandi completed a MSc in Chemistry at Sharif University, Iran. For his doctoral work in electrocatalysis at the Ulsan National Institute of Technology, Dr. Harzandi studied the design and development of electrocatalyst for hydrogen generation. Following his PhD, he spent two years as a postdoc and worked on the development of Seawater batteries and the expansion of its diverse application. His current work as a senior research associate focuses on catalyst design and understanding the mechanism of electrochemical CO2 reduction reaction in Illinois Institute of Technology.

Abstract: An electrocatalyst participates in electrochemical reactions to lower the required activation energy. Considering that electrochemical reactions occur by the transfer of electrons from one chemical species to another; manipulation of the composition and chemical structure of the electrode surface increases the probability of the occurrence of desired electrochemical transformations and, as a result, reduces the required potential. A detailed understanding of the reaction mechanism and the study of the structural changes of the catalyst during the reaction are necessary to design and develop effective catalysts for the catalytic reaction. Here, I will present several applications of electrocatalysts with focus on the strategies for the design and improving the performance of the catalyst. I will also discuss how different material characterization tools combined with computational models improves our understanding of the reaction and catalyst performance. First, by introducing of some electrocatalytic reactions, I will show how manipulation of their corresponding catalyst’s design and composition could improve their performance in terms of activity and selectivity. Second, I will introduce several energy conversion and storage systems that require a new look and deep understanding of their reaction mechanism to design suitable electrocatalyst for developing their application in the important energy relevant reactions. Finally, I will discuss the opportunities for expanding the catalyst field for different demanding applications.