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Andlinger Center Events

Zhiyong (Jason) Ren, University of Colorado, Boulder

Date: April 7, 2017

Time: 12:30 pm - 1:30pm

Location: Maeder Hall

Zhiyong (Jason) Ren, a professor at the University of Colorado, will present “When Microbiology Meets Electrochemistry, Energy and the Environment Find Synergy” at Princeton University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Andlinger Center and the civil and environmental engineering department. Before the lecture, lunch will be served at noon in the lobby of Maeder Hall, the Andlinger Center. The lecture starts at 12:30 p.m.

Water and energy systems are interlinked and interdependent. Currently 4-5% of global electricity is used in the water sector, and this amount is projected to double over the period to 2040. While wastewater treatment and/or desalination plants are often the largest energy consumers in a city, new technologies have the potential to transform these traditionally energy-intensive processes to energy-neutral or even energy-positive by extracting the chemical and thermal energy embedded in the water. Furthermore, value-added chemicals, biofuels, and other resources can be produced, leading a path to circular economy.

This presentation discusses our recent work in microbial electrochemistry and its applications in water-energy nexus. This new approach provides a flexible platform for both oxidation and reduction oriented processes, and it tightly relates to research in material science, microbiology, biochemistry, and engineering. Several projects will be discussed in using this integrated approach for energy and environmental applications, including energy and chemical production, carbon capture and utilization, wastewater treatment, water desalination, and soil remediation.

Dr. Zhiyong (Jason) Ren is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at University of Colorado Boulder. He also holds a joint appointment at the National Renewable Energy Lab as a visiting professor. His research group analyzes reaction mechanisms and develops novel processes for energy and resource recovery during wastewater treatment, remediation, and water desalination processes. His research goal is to transform environmental engineering from pollution clean-up to sustainable development of energy and environmental systems. His recent work was recognized by University Research Award, New Inventor of the Year Award, among others. Dr. Ren completed his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at Penn State University before moving to Colorado. Before that he worked as an environmental engineer after graduating from Tianjin University in China.