Geochemistry and Interfacial Sciences

Geochemistry and Interfacial Sciences

The Geochemistry and Interfacial Sciences Group conducts fundamental and applied research on fluid-solid interactions that control (a) contaminant fate and transport and energy extraction in subsurface geologic environments; (b) electrical energy storage in porous electrode materials; and (c) heterogeneous reaction rates, mechanisms and equilibria in general.  

Publications

Decoding Oxyanion Aqueous Solvation Structure: A Potassium Nitrate Example at Saturation

The ability to probe the structure of a salt solution at the atomic scale is fundamentally important for our understanding of many chemical reactions and their mechanisms. The capability of neutron...

Spontaneous imbibition of water and determination of effective contact angles in the Eagle Ford Shale Formation using neutron imaging

Understanding of fundamental processes and prediction of optimal parameters during the horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing process results in economically effective improvement of oil and...

Spontaneous imbibition of water and determination of effective contact angles in the Eagle Ford Shale Formation using neutron imaging

Understanding of fundamental processes and prediction of optimal parameters during the horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing process results in economically effective improvement of oil and...

Research

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.