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Wen Zhang, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE
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Jianan made an invited talks at 243rd Electrochemical Society Meeting
On May 30th, 2023, Ph.D. candidate Jianan Gao presented at the 243rd Electrochemical Society Meeting. Gao's discussion, titled “Next Generation Nitrogen Cycle”, funded by NSF/BSF Environmental Engineering (Award No: 2215387) and New Jersey Water Resources Research Institute (Award#: G21AP10595-01), which explored recent breakthroughs in electrified membrane technology for nitrate reduction and ammonia production. Addressing the imbalances in the nitrogen cycle that have led to heightened nitrate levels in water bodies, Gao detailed a sustainable, green chemistry approach to electrocatalytic nitrate removal—an alternative to bacterial denitrification—which converts nitrate into valuable ammonia. Besides demonstrating their research on the cathode reaction and developing electrochemical reactors, Gao addressed the challenges of large-scale applications and unveiled a poster promoting their work.
Engaging discussions were held with S. Garcia-Segura (Arizona State University) and Lea Winter (Yale University) about the working mechanism and potential improvements, such as mitigating potential PTFE leaching from the membrane. Gao also benefitted from other presentations, exploring superior nitrate reduction catalysts. These connections extend beyond the conference, offering prospects for future collaborations.