Thomas L. Gossage Chair and Regents' Professor
Georgia Tech University
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Electrochemical devices (e.g., electrolyzers, fuel cells, and batteries) are becoming an important part of our energy infrastructure. Recent advances in these devices will be presented. Polymer electrolytes play an important role in hydrogen-producing electrolyzers, fuel cells and future batteries because they are relatively safe to use and form the basis for all solid-state devices with little or no liquid electrolytes. In hydrogen-producing electrolyzers, acidic devices require perfluorinated polymers which are expensive and dangerous to synthesize. Changing the conductive ion from proton to hydroxide can lowers the cost, extends the lifetime, and creates the opportunity for new types of electrochemical devices. The pathway to creating stable, high pH, high conductivity polymers and membranes is now clear. Recent work has shown that an all-hydrocarbon polymer backbone with fixed cations on a long alkyl tether is stable at high pH and high temperature. Ion channel engineering in the conductive polymer is essential for high ion mobility and conductivity) polymers.
Paul Kohl grew up in Buffalo, NY and received a Ph.D. from The University of Texas, in 1978. After graduation, Dr. Kohl was employed at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ from 1978 to 1989. In 1989, he joined the faculty of the Georgia Institute of Technology in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, where he is currently a Regents' Professor and holder of the Thomas L. Gossage Chair. Dr. Kohl's research interests include electrochemical devices for energy storage and conversion, new ion conducting polymers materials, and transient polymers for electronic and other devices. He has 330 journal publication, 67 US patents, and more than 400 conference presentations. Dr. Kohl is the past Editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society and Electrochemical and Solid-State Letters, and past President of the Electrochemical Society (ECS). He has received the Carl Wagner (mid-career) Award from ECS, Gordon Moore Award in solid-state science, Callinan Award from ECS in Dielectric Science, and ACS Award in Polymer Science. He is a Fellow of AIChE and ECS.