Texas Tech University
Professor and Whitacre Department Chair
Chemical Engineering Department
+Amol Ajinkya Memorial Fund Lecture
Sustainability of water is key for social and economic development. Water sustainability in a holistic context implies resiliency, efficiency, and quality. Electrochemical technologies are an excellent platform to contribute towards water sustainability. For example, inorganic and organic nitrogen containing compounds play an important role in the chemical industry. However, these chemicals can also be seen as an environmental challenge.
Ammonia emissions into air (ambient ammonia) and water represent an environmental challenge. Ambient ammonia not only contributes to inorganic PM2.5 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 μ m) directly but also plays an important role in secondary organic aerosol formation by interacting with gaseous phase organic acids and forming condensable salts. Various industries and other operations are considered ammonia emitters. These are fertilizer manufacture industry, livestock management, coke manufacture industry, fossil fuel combustion, and refrigeration methods. In addition, ammonia emissions in water are associated with environmental problems such as algae bloom.
To circumvent these problems, Dr. Botte and members of her research group have been working on different projects related to the electrocatalysis of nitrogen containing compounds for the production of hydrogen, wastewater treatment, synthesis of ammonia, recovery of energy from waste, and sensors. In this talk, I will present examples of electrochemical technologies that we are developing at the Chemical and Electrochemical Technology Innovation Laboratory at Texas Tech University towards water sustainability, including ammonia and nitrate removal, electrochemical conversion of sludge, and microbial sensors.
LINK TO ZOOM MEETING
Gerardine (Gerri) Botte is a Professor and the Whitacre Department Chair in Chemical Engineering at Texas Tech University with over 23 years of experience in the development of electrochemical processes and advanced water treatment systems. She is a visionary and a recognized leader in electrochemical science and technology. She has served in leadership roles for both the International Society of Electrochemistry and the Electrochemical Society and is currently the Second Vice President of the Electrochemical Society. She is also the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Applied Electrochemistry. In 2014, she was named a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society for her contributions and innovation in electrochemical processes and engineering. She became a Chapter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2012. In 2010, she was named a Fellow of the World Technology Network for her contributions on the development of sustainable and environmental technologies. Previous to Texas Tech, Dr. Botte was University Distinguished Professor and Russ Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Ohio University, the founder and Director of Ohio University’s Center for Electrochemical Engineering Research (CEER), and the founder and Director of the Consortium for Electrochemical Processes and Technology (CEProTECH) -an Industry University Cooperative Research Center. Dr. Botte has 198 publications including peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and 60 granted patents. Dr. Botte and members of her research group are working on the foundation of applying electrochemical engineering principles for advanced and sustainable manufacturing, process intensification, food/energy/water sustainability, and nanomaterials with expertise in electro-synthesis, batteries, electrolyzers, sensors, fuel cells, mathematical modeling, and electro-catalysis. Example projects include: electrochemical extraction of/and recovery of rare earth elements from solid fuels and produced water, hydrogen production from ammonia, biomass, urea, coal, and pet-coke, synthesis of carbon nanotubes and graphene, water remediation and disinfection, selective catalytic reduction, ammonia synthesis, electrochemical conversion of CO2 to high value products, novel electrolytes for thermal batteries, advanced electrowinning, and electrochemical microbial sensors. Dr. Botte is also an entrepreneur, she has been involved in the commercialization of technologies, has founded and co-founded companies, and serves as board of director in several companies. She received her Ph.D. in 2000 (under the direction of Dr. Ralph E. White) and M.E. in 1998, both in Chemical Engineering, from the University of South Carolina. Prior to graduate school, Dr. Botte worked as a process engineer in a petrochemical plant; she was involved in the production of fertilizers and polymers. Dr. Botte received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Universidad de Carabobo (Venezuela) in 1994.