Prof. Egwu Eric Kalu
Dr. Kalu and members of his research group are interested in the exploration of new materials functionality for the development of innovative device architectures exhibiting enhanced capacities and performance characteristics for energy sustainability. The establishment of fundamental principles governing performance activities of engineered materials needed for the generation, conversion and storage of renewable energy and the correlation of their surface compositions and molecular/atomic structures to their performance activities are important goal of our research interests. The identification of parameters and processes governing the performance activities of the engineered materials is then used with help of numerical modeling to develop strategies to enhance the performance activities of engineered energy materials.
We aim to utilize fundamental principles of the sciences, mathematics and engineering to design and implement basic engineering research that addresses fundamental issues and challenges affecting materials in the areas of energy Generation Conversion and Storage (GCS) including electrofuels (bioelectrocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide), advanced lithium-based batteries, chemical hydrogen storage, electrochemical (fuel cells, supercapacitor) and solar (photovoltaic) power sources. We are keenly interested in the investigation and discovery of novel materials systems for batteries, fuel cells, ultracapacitors, and solid state energy storage devices and in the design of bio-inspired reactor systems for fuel production and energy generation/storage systems. Also, we are interested in the synthesis, structural characterization and property measurements of materials for applications as electrodes, electrolytes and support structures for electrochemical energy storage systems. The current research interests include binder-free electrodes for batteries and supercapacitors, the synthesis and characterization of catalysts for oxygen reduction (fuel cells), catalysts for hydrogen generation from liquid fuels, hydrogenolysis of biomass-derived glycerols, biodiesel production and polymer-stabilized nanoparticles for biomedical and environmental applications.