Originally published by OSU News and Research Communications

December 2, 2014

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Chemists and engineers at Oregon State University have discovered a fascinating new way to take some of the atmospheric carbon dioxide that’s causing the greenhouse effect and use it to make an advanced, high-value material for use in energy storage products.

This innovation in nanotechnology won’t soak up enough carbon to solve global warming, researchers say. However, it will provide an environmentally friendly, low-cost way to make nanoporous graphene for use in “supercapacitors” – devices that can store energy and release it rapidly.

Such devices are used in everything from heavy industry to consumer electronics.

The findings were just published in Nano Energy by scientists from the OSU College of Science, OSU College of Engineering, Argonne National Laboratory, the University of South Florida and the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Albany, Ore. The work was supported by OSU.

In the chemical reaction that was developed, the end result is nanoporous graphene, a form of carbon that’s ordered in its atomic and crystalline structure. It has an enormous specific surface area of about 1,900 square meters per gram of material. Because of that, it has an electrical conductivity at least 10 times higher than the activated carbon now used to make commercial supercapacitors.  Read more…

See also:

Controlled Environments Magazine


Microfinance Monitor

Science Newsline

Space Daily

Undergraduate of the Quarter - Winter 2014
Undergraduate of the Quarter – Winter 2014

Corinne Brucks has been selected as one of our Undergrads of the Quarter for Winter 2014. Corinne grew up in Beaverton area.  She became interested in Chemistry at a young age (6-7th grade).  One of the advantages she notes from being homeschooled was that she was able to devote considerable time to her interests in Chemistry. She wrote long reports on chemistry topics and read multiple books on the subject from her local library – including a book series on each element and “The Periodic Kingdom” which she particularly enjoyed.  She initially enrolled at Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri where she got an Associate Degree in Science. It was a professor at Cottey (Dr. Ganga Fernando) who was a key mentor that got the ball rolling for Corinne, providing her first research opportunity and encouraging her to apply to summer undergraduate research internships. Corinne is particularly grateful to Dr. Fernando for her help. Corinne always planned to return to OSU to complete her BS degree because of the strong reputation for its science program, and she loves OSU and Corvallis.  Her favorite classes so far at OSU have been Inorganic Chemistry (CH 411 & CH 412) and Dr. Ji has been her favorite Chemistry instructor.  She has had multiple research opportunities at OSU.  Her minor in computer science was inspired by a summer internship through our NSF Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry (led by OSU Chemistry Professor Doug Keszler) in Professor Paul Cheong’s lab.  Last summer, she completed another CSMC internship down at the University of Oregon in Professor Mark Lonergan’s lab. She is currently working on an Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship and Creativity (URISC) supported project with Professor Sean Burrows on applying MATLAB to create algorithms for making the best biosensors. After graduation, she wants to go to graduate school in Chemistry. Her dream job would be to be a professor where she can teach and do research. She comments that she “enjoys explaining concepts to people”.  While not studying chemistry, Corinne likes to do ballroom dancing on campus.  Corinne is another wonderful example of the high caliber students that we attract to OSU Chemistry, and we are so proud of her successes.

Update: Corrine was also the recipient of the 1st ever Keith McKennon Memorial Scholarship.  The Chemistry Department is grateful for the support of alumni and friends who established this Scholarship. Corinne, will do a wonderful job of honoring this long-time friend of the Department through her contributions to the state, nation, and world.