July 23, 2019
Congratulations to PhD student Sakat Bhargava who was recently chosen to receive a Link Foundation Energy Fellowship for 2019-2021.
Bhargava joined the PhD program at the University of Illinois Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in Fall 2017 and is a member of the Kenis Lab. His research project is entitled, “Intensifying the CO2 Electrolysis Process.”
Many carbon-based chemicals are still produced by the traditional fossil-fuel based processes. These processes generate a lot of greenhouse gases and are thus, unsustainable in the long-term. Electrochemical reduction of CO2 is a promising alternative approach to producing those carbon-based chemicals in a much greener and sustainable way. However, despite lots of progress, the current CO2 electrolyzer performance is not sufficient for this technology to be economically feasible at industrial scales. Bhargava’s research seeks to maximize the CO2 electroreduction catalyst utilization through a combination of electrochemical engineering, reactor engineering, process design, and process intensification approaches in an alkaline flow electrolyzer.
“Eventually, we will use the knowledge gained here to propose design rules for scaling this process,” he said.
The Link Foundation, established in 1953 by Edwin A. and Marion C. Link, supports programs to foster the theoretical basis, practical knowledge, and application of energy, simulation, and ocean engineering and instrumentation research, and to disseminate the results of that research through lectures, seminars and publications.