Bipolar Membranes for Electrochemical Technologies

Electrochemical water splitting into hydrogen and oxygen gas is a technology of growing importance in the clean energy storage and conversion sector. While this technology has been operating successfully for decades using liquid electroytes, emerging technology uses membranes to provide physical separation of the cathode and anode compartments and thereby separation of the product gases, while allowing ions to flow between electrolytes in order for the electrochemical reactions to occur. The membranes used in electrolyzers are typically acidic, proton exchange membranes (PEM), e.g., Nafion.

Green Chemistry for Green Solvents

A major contributor to smog formation is the release of volatile chemicals into the atmosphere which are emitted from many sources including automobile exhaust and consumer products such as paints. To combat the adverse effects smog has on air quality in North America, agencies such as Environment and Climate Change (Canada) and the Environmental Protection Agency (United States) enforce limits on the types and amounts of chemicals used in industrial applications and consumer products.

Hydrogen Storage and Fuel Cell for UAV Integration

The joint objective of the consortium is to undertake R&D necessary to produce a scalable, cost-effective combined hydrogen storage and fuel cell solution for UAV’s that addresses weight and volume and improves refueling logistics. The novel hydrogen storage system will be combined with a high-power density optimized fuel cell stack for UAV’s that integrates with the low pressure, volumetrically efficient, hydrogen storage solution.

Advanced Materials and Technologies for Medical Imaging Detectors and Techniques

The proposed Mitacs program will provide internships for six graduate (thesis-based MSc and PhD) students, and two Post-Doctoral Fellows (PDFs) in a competitive R&D environment at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute (TBRHRI) – Canada’s newest health research institute. Interns will be involved in research projects which aim to develop and commercialize the next generation of customized detectors to improve medical imaging applications, which are chosen on the basis of the demands of the healthcare system and commercial opportunities developed in the TBRHRI.

3D printing of electrochemically driven point-of-care test (POCT) device for heavy metal ions detection

This project aims to develop a fast-response, portable and mobile-readable point of care test (POCT) device. Three-dimensional (3D) printing technology is proposed to fabricate the configuration that features components and elements functioning to accommodate and integrate all principle stages of analysis, including sample pre-treatment, fluidic manipulation and signal detection.

Application of a new method for recovery of gold from electronic waste

Annually, around 50 million tonnes of electronic wastes is produced worldwide which contains valuable metals such as gold, copper, silver and palladium. Due to the lack of a suitable recycling technology, more than 80% of these wastes end up in landfills. The economic driving force for e-waste recycling has been recovery of precious metals, especially gold, in which more than 80% of the total value is attributed to gold alone. The current industrial processes for recovery of precious metals from electronic scraps are energy intensive, expensive, time consuming, and non-efficient.

Nanostructured functional materials from the bottom up

In this series of collaborative projects, we propose a combination of computational and experimental investigations of the preparation and dielectric properties of new, mixed inorganic materials. We will optimize the fabrication process of standard oxide dielectrics and semiconductors, and mixed derivative materials for efficiency and costs, and study the effects of making small modifications to the material’s composition on its field response. The materials proposed here have the potential to evolve in a new class of energy storage and related technology within the next 10 years.

Next Generation PtM catalysts for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

The production of optimised catalysts and catalyst layers for proton exchange membrane fuel cells is both labour intensive and time consuming. However, these materials and composites are of critical importance if proton exchange membrane fuel cells are to become commercially viable. Specifically, highly active catalysts are required in order to reduce platinum group metal content and system cost, while optimized catalyst layer designs are necessary to achieve high performance and robustness in operating cells.

Development of in operando characterization methods for lithium ion battery materials - Year two

The successful commercialization of new cathode materials for lithium ion batteries requires an improved and detailed understanding of the correlations between their structure, properties, and performance. Such a correlation will provide a foundation for better understanding the degradation mechanisms and optimized operating conditions for these cathode materials; pairing new battery materials with ideal applications and standardizing the methods by which these materials are evaluated.

Advanced differential mobility mass spectrometry with electron capture dissociation for the characterization of therapeutic proteins

Many new pharmaceuticals are based on large biomolecules like proteins. Even small differences in the protein structure can cause significant changes in the efficacy and safety of these drugs. Furthermore, these large molecules are difficult to characterize without advanced instrumentation and methods. Current technologies still struggle with robustness and reproducibility. This study aims to introduce new technology to improve the reliability of protein pharmaceutical characterization.

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