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Geochemistry and Interfacial Science

The Geochemistry and Interfacial Sciences Group conducts fundamental and applied research on the chemistry of aqueous solutions, solid materials, biological organisms and porous systems that control

  • mineral nucleation, growth and dissolution
  • contaminant fate and transport and energy extraction in subsurface geologic and other environments
  • heterogeneous reaction rates, mechanisms and equilibria in natural systems
  • tamper/change detection, forensic science, and chemical, biological, radiological nuclear and explosive detection and identification
  • biofuels, biological hydrogen production, cellulose-based composites 

Our principal research projects include the “Atomic- to Pore-Scale Geochemical Processes project;” the Interfacial Dynamics in Radioactive Environments Energy Frontier Research Center (led by PNNL), and “Visualization of Solvent Disruption of Biomass and Biomembrane Structures in the Production of Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts.”  In this research we are pioneering the interpretation of neutron and synchrotron X-ray (e.g. scattering and spectroscopies) with advanced computational simulations to quantify interfacial and pore scale fluid-solid interactions in geological and in biomass systems.  A new research area in our group focuses on the design and synthesis of novel optically active geochemically inspired nanomaterials.   

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