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Chemistry of the Environment

Just as chemistry determines the state of the human organism, so it is with the biosphere. The department is committed to developing technologies that will improve and maintain environmental health.

We have developed a “cradle-to-cradle” process that converts methane to versatile, biodegradable plastics.  Additionally, we are deeply involved in the advancement of environmental remediation technologies, including the engineering of microbes that consume chloroethenes (a class of highly stable pollutants), promising greatly enhanced bioremediation at contaminated sites.
 
Finally, much of our work in the Chemistry of the Environment dovetails with our research in the production of renewable energy and sustainable resources.  That includes the conversion of CO2 — a problematic greenhouse gas — to valuable and earth-friendly products.  We are creating catalysts for the conversion of CO2 to hydrocarbon fuels and chemicals, developing catalytically active hydrogen and methanol oxidants for fuel cells from cheap and abundant materials, and engineering microbes to produce fuels from electricity and CO2.

Related People

Zhenan Bao

K. K. Lee Professor in the School of Engineering, Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy and Professor, by courtesy, of Materials Science and Engineering and of Chemistry

Stacey Bent

Jagdeep and Roshni Singh Professor in the School of Engineering, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty & Academic Affairs, Senior Fellow at Precourt and Professor, by courtesy, of Materials Science & Eng, of Electrical Eng and of Chemistry

Matteo Cargnello

Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering

Curtis Frank

W. M. Keck, Sr. Professor in Engineering and Professor, by court, of Materials Science and Engineering

Gerald Fuller

Fletcher Jones II Professor in the School of Engineering

Thomas Jaramillo

Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, of Photon Science and Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy

Jian Qin

Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering

Elizabeth Sattely

Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering

Alfred M. Spormann

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, of Chemical Engineering and, by courtesy, of Biology

William A. Tarpeh

Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering - Starting September 2018