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EEWR Brown Bag Seminar with Lu Lu, Associate Research Scholar, and Samantha Hartzell, Graduate Student

Speaker: Lu Lu, Associate Research Scholar, and Samantha Hartzell, Graduate Student
Series: EEWR Brown Bag Seminars
Location: Engineering Quad E225
Date/Time: Friday, October 12, 2018, 12:00:00 p.m. - 01:00:00 p.m.


Lu Lu: Microbial electrolysis for renewable H2  production from wastewater with high-efficiency

Lu LuHydrogen gas (H2) is a valuable energy carrier and feedstock to the  chemical industry, but currently is produced mainly by reforming fossil fuels.  Renewable H2 production through bio-fermentation is attractive, however, it  presents a major challenge of low conversion efficiency (~25%) from the  organics to H2. Microbial electrolysis technology combines both biological  and electrochemical merits, and thus can achieve a high-efficient H2  production (~85%) from organics in wastewaters. This not only provides an  alternative for renewable H2 production but also obtains the benefit of  wastewater treatment. Microbial electrolysis utilizes electroactive bacteria  grown on the anode to convert organics into electrons and release protons.  The electrons are then transferred to the cathode to reduce the protons to  produce H2. Microbial electrolysis is an energy positive process due to  recovery of H2 energy from wastes, and can also serve as a platform for  chemicals/fuels production, CO2 capture and utilization, and artificial  photosynthesis.

Samantha Hartzell: The role of hydroclimatic variability in  crop selection

Samantha HartzellPlants have adapted to a wide variety of climates on earth. For example,  crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plants have evolved an extremely high  water use efficiency (on average six times that of traditional C3 and C4  plants). These properties often come with tradeoffs, however; when  compared with traditional crops, CAM crops tend to be lower-yielding under  well-watered conditions and also to be less profitable per unit biomass.  Recent developments in C AM modeling allow us to capture the unique  circadian rhythm of CAM, an d, for the first time, directly compare carbon  assimilation and water use of C3, C4, and CAM photosynthetic types under  different environmental conditions. This previous work, captured in the  Photo3 model, is used to explore the dependence of the different  photosynthetic pathways on soil moisture. Using rainfall statistics, the  expected yield and risk of crop failure is compared for three typical crops  with different photosynthetic pathways.