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Geochemistry and Interfacial Sciences

The Geochemistry and Interfacial Sciences Group conducts fundamental and applied research on fluid-solid interactions that control

  • contaminant fate and transport and energy extraction in subsurface geologic environments
  • electrical energy storage in porous electrode materials
  • heterogeneous reaction rates, mechanisms and equilibria in general

Our principal research projects include the “Atomic- to Pore-Scale Geochemical Processes project;” the “Fluid Interface Reactions, Structures and Transport (FIRST) Energy Frontier Research Center;” the LBNL-led “Nanoscale Control of Geologic CO2 (NCGC) Energy Frontier Research Center;”) and the “Center for Understanding and Control of Acid-Gas-Induced Evolution of Materials for Energy (UNCAGE-ME) Energy Frontier Research Center.”

We also participate in the the Critical Materials Institute Energy Innovation Hub to develop novel surface chemistries for rare earth element recovery. In these and a number of smaller applied projects, we integrate atomistic-molecular modeling with a wide array of experimental and analytical approaches to quantify the properties of interfacial and pore-confined fluids, reaction rates and mechanisms at fluid-solid interfaces, and transport of solvents and solutes through porous media at the nano- to macroscopic length scales.

In this research we are pioneering the application of neutron and synchrotron X-ray (e.g. scattering and spectoscopies) to quantify interfacial and pore scale fluid-solid interactions.

Our work is primarily funded by the Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Critical Materials Institute.