Electrochemical technology for water treatment and energy storage The Roberts research group is focusing on using environmentally friendly electrochemical techniques for simultaneous removal of various contaminants including suspended solids, emulsified oil, dissolved organics, silica and heavy metals from oil sands produced water. Dr. Roberts has developed an innovative process combining adsorption and electrochemical regeneration for the removal and oxidation of organic contaminants from wastewater. A key area of research in this area is the intensification of electrochemical water treatment processes. The Roberts research group has developed a novel cell design for electrocoagulation (EC) which enhances the transport conditions and reduces power requirements. The mechanisms of contaminant removal by EC is being studied through the use of laser scanning confocal microscopy. The application of EC to the treatment of oil-sands produced water is being explored in collaboration with several industry partners.
In addition to water treatment, Dr. Roberts’ research group is exploring the use of new large scale energy storage technologies. Electrode materials for redox flow batteries are being developed in collaboration with Dr. Birss (chemistry), while novel metal-organic redox systems are being explored with Dr. Roesler (chemistry). They are aiming to develop low cost flow battery systems that are able to operate efficiently at high current densities, improving the economic viability of the technology. These systems are being developed for large scale energy storage and the integration of renewable electricity generation. He is also collaborating with Dr. Thangadurai (chemistry) and Dr. Trifkovic on the development of solid state lithium ion batteries for transport applications.
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Candidates with a bachelors degree in chemical engineering are preferred. For PhD, applicants should preferably have experience of research on electrochemical processes.
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