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Electrochemical Reduction of Water Contaminants Utilizing Novel Porous Electrode Design

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Monday, October 3, 2022, 3 pm– 4 pm

This is a past event.

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

Brian P. Chaplin, Department of Chemical Engineering, Institute of Environmental Science and Policy, University of Illinois-Chicago


Electrochemical transformation of contaminants is a growing area of interest in water treatment. While the majority of studies have focused on electrochemical oxidation, electrochemical reduction has the potential to selectively transform a variety of water contaminants without the risk of toxic byproduct formation. In this talk, I will discuss our ongoing efforts to develop electrodes and electrochemical processes to facilitate contaminant reduction. I will highlight work focused on the removal of disinfection byproducts (e.g., halo acetic acids, N-nitrosodimethylamine) and oxyanions (e.g., perchlorate, nitrate) in novel flow-through electrodes. A combination of bench-scale reactivity studies, electrochemical analysis, and molecular modeling was used to understand the mechanisms of contaminant transformation, and this information was used to further optimize electrode design.


Dr. Brian P. Chaplin is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), with an appointment in the Institute of Environmental Science and Policy and a courtesy appointment in the Civil, Materials, and Environmental Engineering department at UIC. His postdoctoral training was in the area of electrochemistry at the University of Arizona and he obtained his PhD from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Environmental Engineering. Prof. Chaplin also holds BS and MS degrees from the University of Minnesota in Civil Engineering. Research and educational activities in his Echem Lab at UIC are focused on novel electrochemical and catalytic processes for water treatment, with an emphasis on developing technologies that promote water sustainability. He is a recipient of the 2015 National Science Foundation Early CAREER Development Award, 2019 Environmental Science and Technology Early Career Scientist Award, and 2018 Environmental Science and Technology best paper award in the area of Environmental Technology.

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