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Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Fall 2017 Seminar

Event Date 

November 15, 2017 - 3:15pm to 4:30pm


Perlstein Hall Auditorium 131

10 West 33rd Street

Chicago, IL 60616


Armour College of Engineering's Chemical and Biological Engineering Department, Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering Mohammad Asadi will present his lecture, Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage Systems: Promises and Challenges.


Electrochemistry is central to many applications such as water purification, membrane separation, sensors, energy storage and conversion systems. Among different electrochemical systems, energy storage (e.g., batteries) and conversion (hydrogen generation) systems that could harvest energy from renewable sources, e.g., solar and wind in the form of chemical bonds have received much attention due to having tremendous potential as an alternative to fossil fuels. Despite its importance, these systems have advanced more slowly over the last two decades due to the lack of suitable and affordable catalysts. To date, numerous catalysts, such as carbon derived materials, metal-carbon hybrid structures, and noble metal catalysts are extensively used for electrocatalytic reactions, despite the low reaction rates or high overpotentials. While many physical and chemical approaches have been employed to enhance the catalytic performance of these materials, it appears to be a fundamental limit, connected to the electronic structure of these catalysts.

My research aim is to design, synthesize and characterize advanced catalysts with unique electronic properties suitable for electrocatalytic reactions. In this context, I recently found that the edge states of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) in ionic liquid (IL) electrolytes offer a new paradigm for electrocatalytic reactions. I have tested the performance of this class of catalysts for the carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction reaction, oxygen reduction reaction and oxygen evolution reactions. The results include 100 times higher catalytic activity for the CO2 reduction reaction, far exceeding the performance of state-of-the-art catalysts and highly efficient bi-functional catalysts for oxygen reduction and evolution reactions compared to expensive noble metal catalysts such as platinum and gold. I also studied the performance of molybdenum disulfide nanoflakes – a member of TMDs- for lithium-air batteries, promising alternatives to Li-ion batteries. In this talk, I will discuss these and other results including the potential of our recent finding to open a new route towards energy efficient, highly active and cost-effective electrochemical energy storage and conversion systems to replace fossil fuels.

Short Biography:

Mohammad Asadi is assistant professor in ChBE Department at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). Previously, he was a research associate at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Asadi completed his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at UIC and received his Master of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology. He spent seven years of working experience in the oil and gas industry before joining UIC. His research interests are experimental studies of surface chemistry in catalytic and electrocatalytic reactions, electrochemical energy storage (e.g., metal-ion and metal-air batteries) and energy conversion (e.g., CO2 reduction reaction) systems as well as design, synthesis, and characterization of advanced materials for sustainable energy technologies.