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Chemical Engineering Seminar

Thursday, January 11, 2024
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Spalding Laboratory 106 (Hartley Memorial Seminar Room)
James Kwan, Professor, Chemical Engineering, Balliol College - University of Oxford,

James Kwan - Balliol College University of Oxford will present: Decarbonising Chemistry with Sound and Bubbles

Global societal demands for consumer products, food, clean water, and energy are underpinned by chemical processes. Yet, these processes are major CO2 emitters and thus key drivers for anthropogenic climate change. Drastic decarbonisation of these sectors through ‘green' chemical technologies such as sonochemistry is necessary to achieve global Net Zero targets. Sonochemistry uses ultrasound to enhance chemical reactions and processes. Sonochemical reactors transmit ultrasound into liquids to generate and oscillate bubbles (cavitation). Under the appropriate acoustic conditions, these bubbles may undergo large volumetric expansions followed by a violent collapse in on themselves due to the inertia of the surrounding liquid. These imploding bubbles can melt nearby steel surfaces, create light, and even induce unique chemical reactions. Sonochemistry also requires less energy, uses fewer toxic compounds, and can be powered by renewable energy sources. Thus, sonochemistry is a green process and tool for decarbonisation. Our lab employs a holistic approach to sonochemical reaction engineering by interfacing ultrasound, cavitation, and chemistry. In this talk, I want to share how my research group is developing novel approaches to sonochemistry resulting in potentially more energy efficient chemical processes and unique chemical reactions.

For more information, please contact Aracely Sustaita by phone at 626.395.3654 or by email at [email protected].