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Reproduce Laboratory

The REPRODUCE – REmediation and PRODuction Using Computational and Electro(chemical) techniques – Laboratory focuses on the application of engineering principles to approach global challenges related to waste and consumer needs. Research in the laboratory employs the use of computational chemistry, process simulations, chemical and electrochemical driving forces and material science in the development of technologies, products and methods. Overall, these complementary approaches ensure the generation of solutions that are possible via thermodynamics, probable via kinetics, scalable via techno-economic analyses and sustainable via life-cycle analyses. The laboratory is housed within the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment at Ohio University.

Possible solutions in the reproduce process

Laboratory Updates


Research

Research in the laboratory is currently supported by funds from Russ College of Engineering and Technology, the Ohio Water Development Authority and the Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office.

Intensified processes through electrochemical analyses

Wastewater Remediation

Commercial and municipal activities involve constant withdrawal of water from natural sources (lakes, rivers, aquifers etc.) accompanied with constant rejection of water to treatment facilities. This effluent water contains various kinds of waste products including chemicals, urine, toxins etc., which at the molecular level are products that can be re-used in other processes after treatment. Human waste contains unused nitrogen that is useful for agricultural applications; mining waste contains metals that can be reused for renewable energy applications; food waste contains carbohydrates and proteins that can be reused for specialty chemical production etc. In essence, wastewater – once treated – can be a source of raw materials for applications and serve as a foundation for the circular economy.

The REPRODUCE Lab is currently using electrolyte modeling and electrochemical reactor design to understand and predict conditions for optimum resource recovery from municipal wastewater with minimal process chemical input.

Polymer Upcycling

Plastic materials are ubiquitous in the consumer space and significantly contribute to municipal solid waste due to the difficulties associated with re-use/recycling. The most recalcitrant species are polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinylchloride and polystyrene: which possess highly stable C-H bonds, account for 77% of the global plastic production but only 17% of the recycling rate. Recent efforts have explored the conversion of these recycling-resistant polymers to fuels and chemicals, with chemical products potentially offering higher economic benefits to alleviate the cost of recycling.

The REPRODUCE Lab is currently developing techniques for generating non-fuel building blocks from thermoplastic polymers via a combination of physicochemical methods including thermolysis, solvolysis and electrolysis.

Thermosetting Polymers

The first polymer material invented, phenol formaldehyde (PF) aka Bakelite, was a thermoset that is still in use today in filtration, abrasive and friction applications and globally produced at 6 million tons per year. These PF resins possess high tensile and flexural strengths, large flexural moduli and high thermal stability. In addition, PF-based composites offer structural and thermal advantages, while negating the brittleness and formaldehyde emissions associated with the base PF thermoset. In addition, opportunities exist to make these resins more environmentally benign by incorporating biomass derivative (lignin) as opposed to a fossil fuel derivative (phenol).

The REPRODUCE Lab is currently developing advanced PF thermosets through the incorporation of filler materials with similar functional groups to the PF resin to strengthen bonding.


People

Principle Investigator

Damilola Daramola

Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Ohio University ‘11

B.S. Chemical Engineering, Ohio University ‘04

Google Scholar Profile

ORCID Profile
 

Graduate Students

  • Sana Heydarian

    • Chemical Engineering Ph.D. Student

    • Joined September 2021

  • Jessica Chukwuka

    • Chemical Engineering Ph.D. Student

    • Joined April 2021

  • Sana Jamshidifard

    • Chemical Engineering Ph.D. Student

    • Joined January 2021

  • Babatunde Ojoawo

    • Chemical Engineering Ph.D. Student

    • Joined August 2020

Undergraduate Students

  • Sophia Almanza, Chemical Engineering 3rd Year, Joined May 2021

  • Francesca Carney, Chemical Engineering 4th Year, Joined March 2021

Alumni

  • Garrett Dildine, Civil and Environmental Engineering 5th Year, Joined August 2020, Left May 2021 (Graduate Studies at Carnegie Mellon University)

 


Publications

  1. S. Velraj, D.A. Daramola and J.P. Trembly, “A novel solid oxide electrolytic cell with reduced endothermic load for CO2 electrolysis using (La0.80Sr0.20)0.95MnO3-δ cathode,” Journal of CO2 Utilization 48, pp 101527 (2021).
  2. E. Grossman, D.A. Daramola and G.G. Botte, “Comparing B3LYP and B97 dispersion-corrected functionals for Studying Adsorption and Vibrational Spectra in Nitrogen Reduction,” ChemistryOpen 10, pp 316 - 326 (2021). OPEN ACCESS and COVER
  3. Z. Belarbi, D.A. Daramola and J.P. Trembly, “Bench-Scale Demonstration and Thermodynamic Simulations of Electrochemical Nutrient Reduction in Wastewater via Recovery as Struvite,” Journal of the Electrochemical Society 167, pp 155524 (2020). OPEN ACCESS
  4. Y.A. Al Majali, C.T. Chirume, E.P. Marcum, D.A. Daramola, K.S. Kappagantula and J.P. Trembly, “Coal-Filler-Based Thermoplastic Composites as Construction Materials: A New Sustainable End-Use Application,ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 7, pp 16870 – 16878 (2019).
  5. A. Estejab, D.A. Daramola and G.G. Botte, “Mathematical Model of a Parallel Plate Ammonia Electrolyzer for Combined Wastewater Remediation and Hydrogen Production,” Water Research 77, pp I33 – I45 (2015).
  6. G.G. Botte, D.A. Daramola and M. Muthuvel, “9.14 Preparative Electrochemistry for Organic Synthesis," In Comprehensive Organic Synthesis II (Second Edition), G.A., Molander; P. Knochel, Eds., Elsevier: Amsterdam, 351 – 389 (2014).
  7. D.A. Daramola and G.G. Botte, “Theoretical Study of Ammonia Oxidation on Platinum Clusters – Adsorption of Intermediate Nitrogen Dimer Molecules,Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 402, pp 204 – 214 (2013).
  8. D.A. Daramola and G.G. Botte, “Theoretical study of ammonia oxidation on platinum clusters – Adsorption of ammonia and water fragments,” Computational and Theoretical Chemistry 989, pp 7 – 17 (2012).
  9. D.A. Daramola, D. Singh and G.G. Botte, “Dissociation rates of urea in the presence of NiOOH catalyst: a DFT analysis,Journal of Physical Chemistry A 114, pp 11513 – 11521 (2010).
  10. D.A. Daramola, M. Muthuvel and G.G. Botte, “Density functional theory analysis of Raman frequency modes of monoclinic zirconium oxide using gaussian basis sets and isotopic substitution,” Journal of Physical Chemistry B 114, pp 9323 – 9329 (2010).