Seminars

SEE Tech Talk Series on Advanced Environmental Technologies

Date: 16 June 2018 (Saturday)
Time: 09:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Venue: Peter Ho Lecture Theatre (LT-10), 4/F, Yeung Kin Man Academic Building, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Organizer:

School of Energy and Environment
City University of Hong Kong
Business Environment Council (BEC), Energy Institute (Hong Kong), The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE)

 

Brief description

SEE has been undertaking cutting-edge research to address urgent energy- and environment-related issues in three categories: (1) sustainable technologies for energy, environment and health, (2) urban atmospheric and aquatic environment and (3) smart and healthy cities. In this SEE Tech Talk Series, three SEE faculty members will present their ongoing research on advanced environmental technologies for various hit-hot topics.

Abstract & Speakers

Topic 1 – Solving Air, Water and Waste Problems with Bacteria
Dr. Patrick LEE, Associate Professor and Associate Dean (Undergraduate Studies), SEE, CityU

Abstract
In Hong Kong and elsewhere, we face many environmental challenges. However, we can overcome some of the problems in air, water and solid waste via biological processes. In the past, biological processes are often treated as ‘black boxes’ because of their complexity and optimizing the processes is often viewed as an art than a science. However, we now have many advanced and robust tools to manipulate biological systems with high precision to achieve effective outcomes. In this seminar, recent advances in biological sciences applicable to environmental engineering will be highlighted. Furthermore, our recently developed technologies that are applicable to air, water and solid waste will be illustrated.

About the Speaker
Dr. Patrick Lee is an Associate Professor and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the School of Energy and Environment at City University of Hong Kong. He received his BS degree in chemical engineering from Queen's University in Canada in 2001, and his MS and PhD degrees in environmental engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002 and 2007, respectively. From 2008 to 2010, he carried out post-doctoral research, also at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Lee is the recipient of awards such as the Canadian Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Post-doctoral Fellowship. His research group applies multi-omics tools in a systems biology framework to study microbiology with applications in energy, environment and human health.

Topic 2 – Adsorption Technology for Gas Separation and Storage
Dr. Jin SHANG, Assistant Professor, SEE, CityU

Abstract
Separation of gases into their pure components is an important unit operation in chemical industry and it can account for more than 60% of the total cost in many processes. Typical examples are natural gas processing, oil refinery, and environmental remediation, all of which play important roles in building a sustainable society. The gas industry is a 500¬-billion¬-dollar input to nearly every sector of the global economy, with high-density storage for transportation and delivery being the most technologically-challenging bottleneck. Typical gas storage applications include fuel gases (e.g., methane and hydrogen) for automobiles, natural gas for long-distance transportation, therapeutic medical gases (e.g., oxygen and nitric oxide) for clinical applications, instrument gases (e.g., nitrogen and argon) for industry usage, and electronic gases (e.g., arsine and phosphine) delivery in the semiconductor fabrication processes. Adsorption technology using porous materials can offer highly efficient routes for gas separation and storage applications. In this talk, I will introduce the basics of adsorption technology and present our latest accomplishment – the concept of active sieving technology which enables highly efficient and economical molecular separation and storage not possible before.

About the Speaker
Dr. Jin Shang is an Assistant Professor in the School of Energy and Environment at City University of Hong Kong. He received his PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Melbourne in 2013. He then worked as research fellow on an Australian Research Council Discovery Project focusing on developing advanced adsorbents for carbon capture in Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) at the University of Melbourne. Afterwards, he moved to Georgia Institute of Technology and worked as a postdoctoral fellow funded by ExxonMobil focusing on restricted gas diffusion in zeolites by advanced molecular simulation, prior to joining the City University of Hong Kong in September 2016. Since 2015, as Co-founder of Australian Research Council Training Centre for Liquefied Natural Gas Futures, he has been actively participated in LNG focused research along with major industry partners in oil and gas field. Dr. Shang specializes in molecular adsorption, separation, and storage using porous materials such as zeolites and metal-organic frameworks. His research is focused on understanding the fundamental physical chemistry of molecular adsorption process via combined experimental and computational methods, in order to rationally develop high-performance adsorbents and catalysts. The target applications include carbon capture and utilization, methane purification from nature gas/biogas/landfill gas, nitrogen oxides removal and abatement, volatile organic compounds removal, energy gas storage, etc.

Topic 3 – Understanding Regional Climate Change and Extreme Weather
Dr. Wen ZHOU, Associate Professor, SEE, CityU

Abstract
Global warming and its impact on regional climate are of the most concern for the public. A higher probability of extreme weather tends to occur under a global warming scenario. Extreme weather events have caused a variety of problems and threats which can seriously hamper the rapid socio-economic development in China, such as snowstorm, heat waves, flooding and droughts, storm surge and sea level rise, and etc. This presentation will focus on the causes of extreme weather events by examining the dynamical linkages between regional climate and various recurrent large-scale circulation patterns under present and future conditions. This integrated study will result in a better understanding of climate variability and regional climate extremes under a warming background and improve our ability to take adaptive measures to minimize the negative effects of climate change, thus helping ensure the sustainability of socioeconomic development in China.

About the Speaker
Dr. Wen Zhou obtained her PhD in City University of Hong Kong in 2004. She was Alexander Von Humboldt Fellow in 2008. She is scientific advisor to HKO since 2008. She is currently Associate Professor in School of energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong. She has published about 130 SCI papers, her research area focuses on East Asia monsoon climate, tropical intraseasonal oscillation, different types of El Nino and their effects on climate. She also looks into natural hazards such as flood/drought, cold surge and heat wave, sea level rise / storm surge over Asia-pacific region and their relationship with different climate drivers in both present and future scenarios.

Rundown

09:15 – 09:30

Registration

09:30 – 09:35

Opening Remark
Prof. Chak CHAN, Dean, SEE, CityU

Presentations

09:35 – 10:05

Solving Air, Water and Waste Problems with Bacteria
Dr. Patrick LEE, Associate Professor and Associate Dean (Undergraduate Studies), SEE, CityU

10:05 – 10:35

Adsorption Technology for Gas Separation and Storage
Dr. Jin SHANG, Assistant Professor, SEE, CityU

10:35 – 10:45

Tea Break

10:45 – 11:15

Understanding Regional Climate Change and Extreme Weather
Dr. Wen ZHOU, Associate Professor, SEE, CityU

11:15 – 11:45

Q&A Session

11:45

End of Event

Note: Attendance certificates will be issued to attendees at the end of the event.

Enquiry: see.enquiry@cityu.edu.hk  (email), 3442 4022 (Tel.)

~All are Welcome~

 

Advancements in Redox Fuel Cells

Dr. Khalid FATIH

Senior Research Officer
Energy, Mining and Environment
National Research Council Canada

Date: 20 June 2018 (Wednesday)
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Venue: G5-215, 5/F, Yeung Kin Man Academic Building, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Organizer:

School of Energy and Environment
City University of Hong Kong

Abstract

Fuel cell technologies have seen extraordinary advances over more than two decades. However, two challenges still facing these technologies, the oxygen cathode and liquid fuels anodes. The oxygen (air) cathode has steadily posed a challenge for fuel cell research regardless of the fuel being used. This is particularly the case for acid media such as for the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) and formic acid fuel cell (FAFC). The main issues with the air cathode include high loading of platinum group metal (PGM) catalysts, sluggish kinetics, triple-phase boundary requirements, cathode depolarization from fuel crossover and flooding. Substituting the air cathode with a redox couple cathode (i.e. Fe2+/Fe3+-carbon) was demonstrated to be a practical approach to address many of the above-stated challenges with an air cathode particularly for applications that are not limited by the size of the energy conversion system. The redox-based cathode has been demonstrated for different fuels and has shown to allow for more cell design flexibility and a significant reduction in the fuel crossover issue.

About the Speaker

Khalid Fatih is a senior research officer, a team leader and project manager at the National Research Council Canada since 2002. He received his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from Université De Sherbrooke (Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada) in 2001 in the area of electrocatalysis. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at Acadia University (Wolfville, Nova Scotia, 2001-2002) working in the area of bio-electrochemistry.

Dr. Fatih expertise is in polymer electrolyte fuel cells, electrocatalysis, surface electrochemistry, electrode kinetics and batteries. His current interests include various fundamental and applied aspects of lithium-ion batteries, flow batteries and electrolytic hydrogen production. He is leading projects to assess the state of health and develop diagnostic tools for batteries as well as assessing risks regarding battery transportation. Dr. Fatih is currently the chair of the Canadian Sub Committee-CSC/IEC-SC21A on Secondary cells and batteries. He is also a member of the Canadian delegation to UN-Informal Working Group on Electric Vehicle Safety for Global Technical Regulation (EVS-GTR). To his credit, Dr. Fatih authored and co-authored over 100 scientific contributions including refereed journal articles, technical reports, proceedings, patent applications and conference presentations.

Enquiry: see.enquiry@cityu.edu.hk  (email), 3442 2414 (Tel.)

~All are Welcome~

 

Heatwaves - Managing the 'Silent Killers'

Prof. Glenn McGREGOR

Professor of Climatology, Department of Geography
Durham University, United Kingdom

Date: 21 June 2018 (Thursday)
Time: 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Venue: G5-317, 5/F, Yeung Kin Man Academic Building, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Organizer:

School of Energy and Environment
City University of Hong Kong

Abstract

Heatwaves are among the most dangerous of natural hazards, but rarely receive adequate attention. They often lack the spectacular and sudden violence of other hazards, such as tropical cyclones or flash floods. For this reason they are often referred to as the ‘Silent Killers’ with the related death tolls not always immediately obvious. For example, the European heatwaves in the northern hemisphere summer of 2003 were responsible for the deaths of 70,000 to 80,000 people. Because heatwaves have emerged as a major hazard over the last 20 years and are likely to become increasingly important as a result of climate change, this seminar will consider the physical causes of heatwaves as well as their health impacts. Some of the strategies for managing heatwave risk, with an emphasis on heat vulnerability mapping in London, United Kingdom, will also be outlined.

About the Speaker

Prof. Glenn McGREGOR graduated with a BSc and MSc (1st Class) in Geography from the University of Auckland in the mid to late 1970s. Following the completion of his MSc at Auckland (glacial sedimentology) he was awarded a NZ University Grants Committee PhD scholarship which he took up at the Department of Geography, University of Canterbury in Christchurch (South Island of New Zealand) where he undertook research on snow avalanches. Following completion of the PhD, Prof. McGREGOR won a Japanese Government Monbusho scholarship for 2 years postdoctoral research at the Institute of Low Temperature Science, University of Hokkaido, Japan where he followed up on snow avalanche related research. At the end of the postdoc, he returned to NZ to work in the environmental consultancy industry for 12 months and then took up his first academic post at the University of Papua New Guinea in 1987 where he worked until 1990 before leaving for Hong Kong to work in the Department of Geography at Hong Baptist College (now Hong Kong Baptist University). Following three years in Hong Kong, Prof. McGREGOR moved to the University of Birmingham, UK where he worked for 13 years in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences moving from Lecturer at the time of his appointment to Reader just before his departure to take up a Chair in Physical Geography at King’s College London (KCL) in 2005. In 2008 he left KCL and returned to his Alma Mata to take up the position of Director of the School of Environment (2008 - 2013) and Professor of Climatology and Associate Dean International in the Faculty of Science (2013 - 2014). In 2014 Prof. McGREGOR joined Durham University in the United Kingdom as Professor of Climatology and Principal of Ustinov College at Durham University in the United Kingdom. Amongst international activities are lead author roles for the IPCC (SREX and 6AR), Chief Editor of the International Journal of Climatology (1997 – 2013), WMO Lead Expert on Climate and Health (2005 – 2010), President of the International Society of Biometeorology (2011 – 2014) and research advisory board memberships for the Australian Research Council’s Water Sensitive Cities Programme and the Shanghai Bureau of Meteorology Climate and Health Laboratory.

Enquiry: see.enquiry@cityu.edu.hk  (email), 3442 2412 (Tel.)

~All are Welcome~

 

Multiphase Chemistry of Organic Aerosols and Reactive Oxygen Species

Dr Manabu Shiraiwa

Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
University of California, Irvine

Date: 27 June 2018 (Wednesday)
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Venue: B5-309, 5/F, Yeung Kin Man Academic Building, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Organizer:

School of Energy and Environment
City University of Hong Kong

Abstract

Multiphase chemical processes of oxidants and aerosol particles are of central importance in aerosol effects on outdoor and indoor air quality and public health. Kinetic multi-layer models for gas-particle interactions and multiphase chemistry have been developed that explicitly treat mass transport and chemical reaction of semi-volatile species partitioning between gas and condensed phases. These models have been applied to gas uptake and chemical aging of organic aerosols as well as formation and evolution of secondary organic aerosols. Secondary organic aerosols (SOA) are ubiquitous in the atmosphere. SOA can occur in amorphous solid or semi-solid phase states depending on chemical composition, relative humidity (RH), and temperature. The phase state of SOA is important for their effects on climate and air quality, but its global distribution is poorly characterized. Our analysis of SOA phase state builds on the molecular corridor approach, which is a two-dimensional framework of volatility and molar mass of SOA components constrained by boundary lines of low and high molecular O:C ratio. We developed a method to estimate glass transition temperatures based on the molar mass and molecular O:C ratio of SOA components. We predict viscosity from the Tg-scaled Arrhenius plot of fragility as a function of the fragility parameter. Viscosity of toluene SOA was predicted using the elemental composition obtained by high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS), resulting in a good agreement with the measured viscosity. Further, we used the global chemistry climate model EMAC with the organic aerosol module ORACLE to predict the phase state of atmospheric SOA. For the planetary boundary layer, global simulations indicate that SOA are mostly liquid in tropical and polar air with high relative humidity, semi-solid in the mid-latitudes, and solid over dry lands. We find that in the middle and upper troposphere SOA should be mostly in a glassy solid phase state. Thus, slow diffusion of water, oxidants, and organic molecules could kinetically limit gas-particle interactions of SOA in the free and upper troposphere, promote ice nucleation and facilitate long-range transport of reactive and toxic organic pollutants embedded in SOA.

About the Speaker

Dr Manabu Shiraiwa is Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Irvine. He has worked as group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (2013-2016) and as JSPS postdoc fellow at the California Institute of Technology (2012-2013). He received BS and MS at the University of Tokyo and PhD from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry.

Enquiry: see.enquiry@cityu.edu.hk  (email), 3442 7359 (Tel.)

~All are Welcome~

 

First-principles studies on battery electrolytes, electrodes and interfaces

Dr. Yoshitaka TATEYAMA

Group Leader
Center for Green Research on Energy and Environmental Materials,
National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Japan

Date: 27 June 2018 (Wednesday)
Time: 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Venue: B5-209, 5/F, Yeung Kin Man Academic Building, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Organizer:

School of Energy and Environment
City University of Hong Kong

Abstract

Improvement of current Li-ion batteries and development of next-generation batteries have been a most important issue for future renewable energy society. Besides, the microscopic phenomena inside the batteries are full of interesting electronics, ionics and redox chemistry from a fundamental viewpoint. However, the in-situ or operando measurement is still difficult to capture what’s going on the atomic scale under the operation.

To elucidate such microscopic processes in batteries, we have investigated several selected issues on battery electrolytes, electrodes and interfaces, with first-principles density-functional theory calculations. We have theoretically proposed novel mechanisms of reductive decomposition of electrolyte molecules and formation mechanism of interfacial film (so called SEI film) on the anode, peculiar chemistry of superconcentrated electrolyte and Na-excess cathode materials, and possible origin of interfacial resistance to the ion transport in all-solid-state Li-ion batteries, all of which are long-standing issues or current hot topics in the battery field. In this talk, I’ll introduce these computational explorations in our group.

About the Speaker

Yoshitaka Tateyama is a group leader in Center for Green Research on Energy and Environmental Materials (GREEN), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Tsukuba and a project professor in Elements Strategy Initiative for Catalysts & Batteries (ESICB), Kyoto University. He received his Ph.D degree in physics from The University of Tokyo in 1998 and joined NIMS. He has been awarded JST-PRESTO researcher fellowship twice and involved in several national projects on batteries as well as high-performance computing.

His main research interest includes comprehensive understanding of interfacial redox phenomena in materials science and contribution to the development of batteries, solar cells, and catalysts, via theoretical and computational approaches. He’s been working on development of computational techniques for redox chemistry and electrochemistry as well.

Enquiry: see.enquiry@cityu.edu.hk  (email), 3442 2410 (Tel.)

~All are Welcome~

 

Nanographenes: The Next Frontier for Optical, Catalytic and Energy Materials

Professor Hsing-Lin WANG

Chair Professor of Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Southern University of Science and Technology

Date: 27 June 2018 (Wednesday)
Time: 03:30 p.m. - 04:30 p.m.
Venue: B5-310, 5/F, Yeung Kin Man Academic Building, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Organizer:

School of Energy and Environment
City University of Hong Kong

Abstract

Unlike graphene, nanographenes (a small piece of graphene with size less than 30 nm) are semiconductors with tunable electronic structures (HOMO, LUMO, Band gap energy)hence, strong implications toward optical, electronic and energy devices. Nanographenes represent a new class of organic semiconductors which have attracted interests from various disciplines as the control of their optical and electronic properties can be achieved through changes in their size, shape and morphology.  Moreover, these nanographenes self-assemblies exhibit unique hierarchical structures from nano to macroscale, which reveal correlation between hierarchical structure and the battery properties that was previously not accessible.

In our lab, we have synthesized a series of structurally well-defined nanographenes with different functional groups attached to the edge of the lateral planes; which also leads to variation in d-spacing between planes, charge density and distribution of electron on the nanographene. More recently, we have synthesized a series of nitrogen-containing nanographenes(NGs) ( C1-xNx, 0 < x< 0.106) with pyridine-N atom doped to the edge of the nanographene, which have a high specific surface area ~ 250 cm2/g. Our preliminary results reveal promises of these nanographene precursors for blue and white light LED.  These high-surface area nanographenes have a good cyclic durability, excellent rate performance and an enhanced charge capacity,as high as 1500mAh/g after 100 cycles and little capacity decrease in different charge/didcharge current from 200mA to 5000mA, as novel anode materials for LIBs. Moreover, Moreover, optimized electronic structure and facilitated electron transfer has led to energy storage five times the capacity of graphite, suggesting that the optimal design of N-doped conjugated nanographenes are promising for next generation LIBs with superior energy storage efficiencies.

About the Speaker

Hsing-Lin Wang earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Chung Hsing University in 1984 and his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the South Florida University in 1992. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania with Prof. Alan G. MacDiarmid from 1993 to 1995. He then went to Los Alamos National Laboratory as a scientist and was promoted to senior scientist and team leader. During his tenure career, he won distinguish Performance award, R&D 100 award,Los Alamos achievement awards,Distinguished Nanoscience Research Leader Award, Publishing Division of Cognizure, outstanding innovation award at Los Alamos National Lab and Subject Matter Expert for Homeland Defense & Security Information Analysis Center (HDIAC).   In 2016, he joined the Department of Material Science and Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology and awarded the title of “One Thousand Talents Expert”. In 2017, he won the title of “Guangdong Province Leading Talent”.  Prof. Wang's research is mainly focused on the preparation of organic polymeric materials and organic-inorganic composite materials with the applications toward lithium ion battery, perovskite solar cell, bio-imaging materials and biosensors, etc. He was awarded 22 US and international patents. He has authored or co-authored three book chapters, more than 180 peer-reviewed articles on the journals of Science, Nature Nanotechnology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Chemical Society Review and Advanced Materials etc. with H-index of 46 and the number of citations has reached 10000.

Enquiry: see.enquiry@cityu.edu.hk  (email), 3442 2412 (Tel.)

~All are Welcome~

 

Vertical Dependence of Regional and Local Pollutants: Relative Importance and Building Ventilation

Dr. Keith NGAN

Assistant Professor
School of Energy and Environment
City University of Hong Kong

Date: 28 June 2018 (Thursday)
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Venue: B5-307, 5/F, Yeung Kin Man Academic Building, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Organizer:

School of Energy and Environment
City University of Hong Kong

Abstract

Pollutant concentrations within deep urban canopies are affected by regional and local sources. Little is known, however, about how the balance between them changes with height. In this study we use roadside measurements of particulates and numerical simulations with a high-resolution mesoscale model (WRF) and a building-resolving large-eddy simulation model (PALM) to determine the relative importance of regional and local sources. It is found that the crossover height  depends sensitively on the building geometry. Implications for urban design and the location of fresh air outlets are discussed.

This work was supported by the Environment and Conservation Fund and the Woo Wheelock Green Fund.

Enquiry: see.enquiry@cityu.edu.hk  (email), 3442 2414 (Tel.)

~All are Welcome~

 

Microbial derived biosurfactants: focus on sophorolipids

Prof. Dr. Ir. Inge N.A. Van Bogaert

Professor
Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium

Prof. Dr. Ir. Inge N.A. Van Bogaert

Date: 19 July 2018 (Thursday)
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Venue: B5-310, 5/F, Yeung Kin Man Academic Building, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Organizer:

School of Energy and Environment
City University of Hong Kong

Abstract

Already in the ‘40s and ‘60s of the past century several microorganisms were discovered to be producers of biological detergents. In the past decades, interest in these ‘biosurfactants’ was reinforced due to the growing environmental awareness and the quest for greener alternatives to the traditional petrochemical derived surfactants. Indeed, biosurfactants display low toxicity, good biodegradability and are made from renewable resources under mild conditions.

One of the most promising biosurfactants are the sophorolipids produced by the yeast Starmerella bombicola. These compounds are currently commercialized by several companies and find multiple applications. By unraveling the genome and the sophorolipid synthesis pathway, we could transform the yeast into a platform for the production of new biological detergents with altered applications. In this way, biosurfactants can form a broader and customized alternative to traditional products.

About the Speaker

Inge Van Bogaert is a Tenure Track Professor at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium and is a member of the Centre for Synthetic Biology where she is the group leader of the BioPort Team.

She focusses on the applied aspects of microbiology with topics such as biosurfactants, fatty acid modification and unconventional yeasts. Recently, she initiated a research line on the emerging topic of transport over biological membranes.

Enquiry: see.enquiry@cityu.edu.hk  (email), 3442 2412 (Tel.)

~All are Welcome~

 

Archive of Seminars