https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Chakrabarty-earns-Global-Environmental-Change-Early-Career-Award-from-American-Geophysical-Union.aspx962Chakrabarty earns Global Environmental Change Early Career Award from American Geophysical Union<img alt="" src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Chakrabarty_Rajan.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/36_.000">a</a></div><p>Rajan Chakrabarty, assistant professor of energy, environmental & chemical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, has been selected to receive the 2018 Global Environmental Change Early Career Award from the American Geophysical Union (AGU).</p><p>He was recognized for his substantive contributions to the award's three interconnected dimensions of research, educational and societal impacts. He has conducted detailed experimental and modeling studies to understand and characterize the complex morphological and optical properties of atmospheric <g class="gr_ gr_25 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Punctuation only-del replaceWithoutSep" id="25" data-gr-id="25">aerosols,</g> and made the resulting <g class="gr_ gr_21 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling ins-del" id="21" data-gr-id="21">data sets</g> freely available to the modeling and satellite-retrieval communities for fine-tuning of their algorithms. His work is providing insights into the drivers of atmospheric and climate conditions over India, where researchers and <g class="gr_ gr_22 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling ins-del" id="22" data-gr-id="22">policy makers</g> are using his work to advance the state of science and develop air quality management plans.<br/></p><p>Each year, AGU's sections recognize outstanding work within their scientific field by hosting nearly 25 named lectures and awarding more than 30 awards and prizes annually. Awardees and lecturers are selected for contributing meritorious work or service toward the advancement and promotion of discovery in Earth and space science to benefit humanity.<br/></p><p>"The individuals representing the 2018 section awardees and named lecturers are among the best and brightest in their scientific fields," said Eric Davidson, AGU president. "To be named and recognized from among their scientific peer groups is a testament to their innovative research, leadership, and accomplishments. I congratulate Rajan Chakrabarty on this honor and thank him for his contribution to society."<br/></p><p>Section awardees and lecturers will be honored or invited to present during AGU's fall meeting in December in Washington, D.C.<br/></p><p>In 2017, Chakrabarty was awarded the 2017 Richard M. Goody Award by the electromagnetic and light scattering community for outstanding early-career contributions to atmospheric radiation and remote sensing. He is also a 2015 CAREER Award recipient from the National Science Foundation. He joined the faculty at WashU in 2014 from the Desert Research Institute. He earned a master's and a doctorate in chemical physics from the University of Nevada-Reno and a bachelor's degree in electrical and instrumentation engineering from the University of Madras. <br/></p><SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN><p><br/></p>ChakrabartyBeth Miller 2018-11-14T06:00:00ZRajan Chakrabarty will be recognized for his contributions to global environmental change research from the American Geophysical Union.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Moon-recognized-for-research-by-Biotechnology--Bioengineering-journal-.aspx961Moon recognized for research by Biotechnology & Bioengineering journal <img alt="" src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Moon_Tae-Seok.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/36_.000">a</a></div><p>Tae Seok Moon, associate professor of energy, environmental & chemical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, has been selected to receive the 2019 Daniel I.C. Wang Award from the <em>Biotechnology & Bioengineering</em> journal.<br/></p><p>The award, named for Daniel I.C. Wang, an Institute professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a pivotal leader in developing the biotechnology industry and in shaping biochemical engineering education and training for more than 50 years, honors an accomplished younger member of the biotechnology and bioengineering community for his or her commitment to the journal and to the community it serves.<br/></p><p>Moon, who works with synthetic gene circuits to control and improve metabolic pathways for the production of biomass-based chemicals and drugs, will make a presentation and receive a plaque and honorarium at the American Chemical Society's annual meeting in March 2019.<br/></p><p>Moon's research focuses on constructing programmable cells that are able to process multiple input signals and to produce desirable outputs to solve problems in energy, environment, agriculture <g class="gr_ gr_16 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="16" data-gr-id="16">and</g> health. He has a broad background in systems and synthetic biology, with expertise in gene regulation as well as design and construction of synthetic metabolic pathways, biosensors <g class="gr_ gr_17 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="17" data-gr-id="17">and</g> complex genetic circuits. Currently, he is conducting research in engineering probiotic bacteria for medical applications; systems engineering of bacteria to enable <g class="gr_ gr_15 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Grammar only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="15" data-gr-id="15">production</g> of fuels and chemicals from lignocellulose; understanding biological robustness by building genetic sensors and complex circuits from the bottom-up<g class="gr_ gr_18 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Punctuation multiReplace" id="18" data-gr-id="18">; and</g> engineering predictable RNA regulators. He received an NSF CAREER award in 2014 and an ONR Young Investigator award in 2017.</p><p>Moon earned a doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and master's and bachelor's degrees from Seoul National University.</p><p> </p><SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN><p><br/></p><p><br/></p>MoonBeth Miller 2018-11-13T06:00:00ZTae Seok Moon will be recognized for his research next spring by the Biotechnology & Bioengineering journal.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Whiskers-surface-growth-and-dendrites-in-lithium-batteries.aspx952Whiskers, surface growth and dendrites in lithium batteries<img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/DendriteFeature-1024x973.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>As our love of gadgets grows, so do demands for longer lasting batteries. But there’s a problem.</p><p>To make a longer-lasting battery, it needs to be bigger, and bigger isn’t better when it comes to cell phones or electric cars — not to mention pacemakers.</p><p>Lithium ion batteries already have a less-than-stellar reputation: think <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/09/12/why-those-samsung-batteries-exploded/?utm_term=.a69f5c218dbe" style="box-sizing: inherit;">exploding cell phones</a> or <a href="https://www.inc.com/peter-economy/lithium-ion-battery-on-delta-air-lines-flight-explodes-catches-fire-quick-thinking-crew-averts-disaster.html" style="box-sizing: inherit;">fires on airplanes</a>. Beyond these existing problems, when researchers attempt to shrink these batteries without compromising the performance, the results are even more unstable and prone to short-circuiting; engineers have not been able to move past these issues.</p><p>Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have new insights into the cause — or cause<span style="box-sizing: inherit; font-style: italic;">s</span> — of these issues, paving the way for smaller, safer, more energy-dense batteries<strong>.</strong> The result of their work has recently been published online in the journal <a href="https://www.cell.com/joule/fulltext/S2542-4351(18)30403-3" style="box-sizing: inherit;">Joule</a>.</p><p> <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Peng-Bai.aspx" style="box-sizing: inherit;">Peng Bai</a>, assistant professor in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, has identified three key current boundaries when it comes to these energy-dense lithium metal batteries. It turns out, engineers had been looking for one solution to what turns out to be three problems.<br/></p> <p> <span style="box-sizing: inherit;">A lithium ion battery is made of three layers: one layer of low-voltage material (graphite) called the anode; one of high-voltage material (lithium cobalt oxide) called the cathode; and a layer of porous plastic which separates the two.</span></p><p> <span style="box-sizing: inherit;">The separator is wetted by a liquid called an electrolyte.</span><span style="box-sizing: inherit;"> When the battery discharges, lithium ions empty out of the anode, passing through the liquid electrolyte, and move into the cathode. The process is reversed as the battery charges.</span></p><p>“With half of the lithium-ion-hosting electrode materials empty at all times,” Bai said, “you are wasting half of your space.”</p><p> <span style="box-sizing: inherit;">Engineers have known that they could build a more energy-dense battery (a smaller battery with a similar output capabilities) by discarding some of the dead weight that comes with half of the host materials always being empty. They have been minimally successful by removing the graphite anode, then reducing the lithium ions with electrons </span><span style="box-sizing: inherit;">during recharge, a process which forms a thin plating of lithium metal</span><span style="box-sizing: inherit;">.   </span></p><p> <span style="box-sizing: inherit;">“The problem is that the lithium metal </span><span style="box-sizing: inherit;">plating</span><span style="box-sizing: inherit;"> is not uniform,” Bai said. “It can grow ‘fingers.’ ”</span></p><p> <span style="box-sizing: inherit;">Researchers have referred to these fingers as “</span><span style="box-sizing: inherit;">dendrites</span><span style="box-sizing: inherit;">.” As they spread from the lithium metal </span><span style="box-sizing: inherit;">plating</span><span style="box-sizing: inherit;">, they can penetrate the separator in the battery, leading to a short circuit. </span></p><p> <span style="box-sizing: inherit;">But not all “fingers” are the same. </span><span style="box-sizing: inherit;">“If you call them all dendrites, you’re looking for one solution to solve actually three problems, which is impossible,” Bai said. “That’s why after so many years this problem has never been solved.”</span></p><p> <span style="box-sizing: inherit;">His team has identified three distinct types of fingers, or growth modes, in these lithium metal anodes. They also outline at which current each growth mode appears.</span></p><p> <span style="box-sizing: inherit;">“If you use very high current, it builds at the tip to produce a treelike structure,” Bai said. Those are “true dendrites” (see Figure A ).</span></p> <figure class="wp-caption alignnone" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; max-width: 100%; padding: 0px; border: none; background-image: none; caret-color: #3c3d3d; color: #3c3d3d; font-family: "source sans pro", "helvetica neue", helvetica, arial, sans-serif; font-size: 19.200000762939453px; width: 200px;"><img src="https://media.giphy.com/media/OR2GC9UYBFxDdYN7HD/giphy.gif" alt="Dendrite growth" style="box-sizing: inherit; border-width: 0px; width: 200px; margin: 5px;"/><figcaption class="wp-caption-text" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin-bottom: 0px; font-size: 1rem; font-style: italic; line-height: 1.333; color: #626464; margin-top: 0.25em;">Figure A | True dendrites quickly penetrate the separator. (Images: Peng Bai)</figcaption></figure> <p> <span style="box-sizing: inherit;">Below the lower limit you have whiskers growing from the root (see Figure B). </span></p> <figure class="wp-caption alignnone" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; max-width: 100%; padding: 0px; border: none; background-image: none; caret-color: #3c3d3d; color: #3c3d3d; font-family: "source sans pro", "helvetica neue", helvetica, arial, sans-serif; font-size: 19.200000762939453px; width: 204px;"><img src="https://media.giphy.com/media/3LGQKLsejMxzuSP0Su/giphy.gif" alt="Whisker growth" style="box-sizing: inherit; border-width: 0px; width: 204px; margin: 5px;"/><figcaption class="wp-caption-text" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin-bottom: 0px; font-size: 1rem; font-style: italic; line-height: 1.333; color: #626464; margin-top: 0.25em;">Figure B | Whisker growth is blocked by the separator</figcaption></figure> <p> <span style="box-sizing: inherit;">And within those two limits there exists the dynamic transition </span><span style="box-sizing: inherit;">from whiskers to dendrites, which Bai calls “surface growth” (see Figure C).</span></p> <figure class="wp-caption alignnone" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; max-width: 100%; padding: 0px; border: none; background-image: none; caret-color: #3c3d3d; color: #3c3d3d; font-family: "source sans pro", "helvetica neue", helvetica, arial, sans-serif; font-size: 19.200000762939453px; width: 197px;"><img src="https://media.giphy.com/media/YXiDNRWH7dRTMchKj5/giphy.gif" alt="Surface growths" style="box-sizing: inherit; border-width: 0px; width: 197px; margin: 5px;"/><figcaption class="wp-caption-text" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin-bottom: 0px; font-size: 1rem; font-style: italic; line-height: 1.333; color: #626464; margin-top: 0.25em;">Figure C | Surface growths penetrate the separator</figcaption></figure> <p> <span style="box-sizing: inherit;">These growths are all related to the competing reactions in the region between the liquid electrolyte and the metal deposits. </span></p><p> <span style="box-sizing: inherit;">The study found that a nanoporous ceramic separator can block whiskers up to a certain current density, </span><span style="box-sizing: inherit;">after which surface growths can slowly penetrate the separator.</span><span style="box-sizing: inherit;">  With a strong enough current, “true dendrites” form, which can easily and very quickly penetrate the separator to short the battery.</span></p><p> <span style="box-sizing: inherit;">At this point, Bai said, “our unique transparent cell revealed that the voltage of battery could look quite normal, even though the separator has been penetrated by a lithium metal filament. Without seeing what is happening inside, you could be easily fooled by the seemingly reasonable voltage, but, really, your battery has already failed.”</span></p><p> <span style="box-sizing: inherit;">In order to build a safe, efficient, reliable battery with a lithium metal anode, the three growth modes need to be controlled by three different methods. </span></p><p> <span class="s1" style="box-sizing: inherit;">This will be a challenge considering consumers want batteries that can store more energy, and at the same time want them to be charged more quickly</span>. The combination of these two inevitably yields a higher and higher charging current, which may exceed one of the critical currents identified by Bai’s team.</p><p>And, batteries can degrade. When they do, the critical currents identified for the fresh battery no longer apply; the threshold becomes lower. At that point, given the same fast charge current, there’s a higher likelihood that the battery will short.</p><p>“Battery operation is highly dynamic, in a very wide range of currents. Yet its disposition varies dramatically along the cycle life” Bai said. “That is why this becomes necessary.”<br/></p><span> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>Peng Bai<br/></h3><div style="text-align: center;"> <img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Bai_Peng.JPG?RenditionID=3" class="ms-rtePosition-4" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/> <br/> </div><div style="text-align: left;"><ul style="padding-left: 20px; caret-color: #343434; color: #343434;"><li>Assistant Professor</li><li>Research: Next-generation batteries<br/></li></ul></div> <div style="text-align: center;"> <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Peng-Bai.aspx">>> ​View Bio</a></div><div style="text-align: center;"> <br/> </div><div style="text-align: center;"> <a href="https://eece.wustl.edu/Pages/default.aspx">>> Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering</a>​<br/></div></div></span>Dendrite growth in a lithium metal batteryBrandie Jeffersonhttps://source.wustl.edu/2018/10/whiskers-surface-growth-and-dendrites-in-lithium-ion-batteries/2018-10-29T05:00:00ZResearchers at Washington University in St. Louis take a closer look at lithium metal plating and make some surprising findings that might lead to the next generation of batteries.<p>Research aims to pave the way for smaller, safer, more energy-dense batteries<br/></p>
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Kim-wins-2018-Doh-Wonsuk-Memorial-Award.aspx951Kim wins 2018 Doh Wonsuk Memorial Award<img alt="Doyoon Kim" src="/news/PublishingImages/Doyoon%20Kim.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>​</p><p>Doyoon Kim, a doctoral student in the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering, has been chosen to receive a 2018 Doh Wonsuk Memorial Award from the US Chapter of Korean Institute of Chemical Engineers. </p><p> </p><p>Kim will receive the award at the Korean-American Chemical Engineers Forum during the 2018 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) annual meeting in late October in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.</p><p> </p><p>Kim, who works in the lab of Young-Shin Jun, professor of energy, environmental & chemical engineering, has published nine papers with Jun, including one in <em>Nature Communications</em>. His research is on heterogeneous calcium phosphate formation on biological matrices. After he defends his doctoral dissertation next month, he will join the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a postdoctoral research position.<br/></p><p><br/></p>Doyoon Kim2018-10-24T05:00:00ZDoyoon Kim, a doctoral student in Young-Shin Jun's lab, will receive an award from the US Chapter of the Korean Institute of Chemical Engineers.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Heavy-metals-control-the-breath-of-wetlands.aspx950Heavy metals control the ‘breath’ of wetlands<img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/Catalano_Marais_760.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>​The wind in the willows might be the sound of the wetlands breathing.</p>Respiring bacteria at the water’s edge create greenhouse gasses like methane and nitrous oxide. Scientists from cross disciplines at Washington University in St. Louis are investigating how the abundance of heavy metals in natural wetlands affects how much of these gasses are produced in aquatic systems.<br/><br/>“Many complex factors control how wetlands affect the atmosphere,” said Jeffrey G. Catalano, professor of earth & planetary Sciences in Arts & Sciences, who is directing the study of geochemistry and mineralogy of aquatic systems. “And in natural wetland and streambed soils at least, these biogeochemical processes are not well understood.”<div><br/>Catalano and collaborator Daniel E. Giammar, the Walter E. Browne Professor of Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, have recently been awarded a $540,000 grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Biological & Environmental Research for their wetlands research.<div><br/>Wetlands are biologically productive places, but they are sometimes fragile and can be disturbed by human activity. In the warming Arctic, for example, recent studies have drawn attention to how melting permafrost causes microbes to generate additional greenhouse gasses — potentially opening up a feedback loop that leads to greater warming.</div><div><br/>In St. Louis — a region that owes much of its history to its location at a confluence of the Missouri and the Mississippi rivers — the local area is laced with waterways large and small.<div><br/>Catalano and Giammar will conduct some of their field work at a nearby Missouri conservation area as well as at wetlands and streams near Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois; the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee; and the Savannah River National Laboratory in South Carolina.<div><br/>Studies with isolated microorganisms in laboratories have demonstrated that when heavy metal abundance is low, key biological pathways associated with microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling are inhibited.</div><div><br/>But there have been few studies of such metal limitations in nature.<div><br/><blockquote>“We’ve seen the effects in laboratory studies, but what we want to know now is, how does it happen in real aquatic systems?” Catalano said.</blockquote><div>Previously, under an exploratory project also funded by the DOE, Catalano and his research team showed that adding the heavy metal nickel to sulfur-rich freshwater wetland soil increased methane production by a factor of 10.</div><div><br/>Under the new project, the researchers will determine the natural seasonal and spatial dynamics of heavy metal micronutrient abundance in river and marsh wetland soils. They also will evaluate how adding metals to the soils alters methanogenesis (biological methane formation) and other key nutrient cycling activities.<div><br/>What they learn may shine new light on how humans can accidentally alter how wetlands function.<br/></div></div></div></div></div></div></div><div><div class="cstm-section"><h3>Daniel Giammar<br/></h3><div style="text-align: center;"> <strong><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Daniel-Giammar.aspx?_ga=2.170919141.452849903.1540303982-757045394.1533662676"><img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Giammar_Daniel.jpg?RenditionID=3" alt="Daniel Giammar" style="margin: 5px;"/></a> <br/></strong></div><ul style="text-align: left;"><li>Walter E. Browne Professor of Environmental Engineering</li><li>Expertise: Water quality, aquatic chemistry, and environmental implications of energy technologies<br/></li></ul><p style="text-align: center;"> <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Daniel-Giammar.aspx?_ga=2.170919141.452849903.1540303982-757045394.1533662676">>> View Bio</a><br/></p></div></div>Marais Temps Clair Conservation Area in St. Charles County, Mo. (Photo: Alexandra Pearce)Talia Ogliorehttps://source.wustl.edu/2018/10/heavy-metals-control-the-breath-of-wetlands/2018-10-23T05:00:00ZScientists from cross disciplines at Washington University in St. Louis are investigating how the abundance of heavy metals in natural wetlands affects how much of these gasses are produced in aquatic systems.<p>​New research may shine light on how humans alter wetlands<br/></p>