A Little Green Technology Goes a Long Way
Developing clean, sustainable energy supplies is one of the most critical challenges facing the world today. In particular, the need for better water treatment technologies is becoming more urgent as the global population grows. Industries like pulp and paper and mining also need better treatment technologies to meet environmental regulations that are increasingly stringent.
As Canada Research Chair in Electrochemistry and Nanoscience, Dr. Aicheng Chen is creating advanced electrochemical technologies based on functional nanoscale materials that will help treat wastewater, conserve and store energy, and support the sustainable development of natural resources. Chen and his research team are also exploring strategies for wastewater treatment that integrate electrochemistry and photochemistry.
Electrochemistry offers powerful analytical techniques, with advantages like instrumental simplicity, high sensitivity and portability. Chen’s research team is also developing high-performance, nanomaterials-based electrochemical sensors and biosensors to improve the detection of contaminants. These sensors can be used to enhance environmental monitoring as well as screening for food quality and safety.
Hydrogen is a clean and renewable alternative to conventional fossil fuels, but it is an energy carrier rather than an energy source, and storing it is challenging. Chen and his team are exploring opportunities to develop robust, highly active catalysts for hydrogen production and designing functionalized nanomaterials to purify and store it.
Ultimately, Chen’s research will lead to advanced electrochemical technologies that can be applied in the energy, pulp and paper, mining and food industries, enabling sustainable development and a greener future.