Department of Chemistry and Materials Science

Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry

My group has lately studied externally triggered drug delivery, electrochemical energy storage, electrodialysis and electrochemistry in two phase (oil-water) systems.
CV duck
All Copper Redox Flow Battery
All Copper Redox Flow Battery

All Copper redox flow battery (CuBER)

The problem of wind and solar energy production is that it is intermittent, not always meeting the need of electric power. Therefore, storing renewable energy to level consumption peaks and lows becomes very important. Large amounts of electric energy are mainly stored in pumped hydropower. From electrochemical methods a flow battery is practically the only one which is easily scalable to the MWh range. The principle of operation of a redox flow battery is presented in Figure 2, also showing the electrode reactions of the all-copper RFB. The capacity of a RFB can in principle be increased without limits by increasing the volume of the electrolyte tanks.

The vanadium RFB is already commercialized but the limited availability of vanadium prevents its use on the global scale. Hence, the focus of our research is to develop a RFB that is based on copper electrochemistry. The study has been funded by TEKES.

An EU funded scale-up project will start in the beginning of 2020, in the purpose of building a 5 kWh CuRFB. The consortium consists of 11 partners all over Europe.

Principle of light triggered drug delivery
Light triggered drug delivery

Light activated drug delivery systems (LADDS)

In the project LADDS, chemical components - gold nanoparticles or Indocyanine Green, ICG - activated with light are studied as a means to deliver drugs in a controlled manner. Components are embedded in liposomes which also contain the drug. When the system is illuminated, components absorb light and warm up, making the liposome wall more fluid and releasing the drug. The target tissue is retina in the posterior part of an eye which is very difficult to treat with drugs. Current therapy means injections to the vitreous humor which requires clinical conditions and an eye specialist. The surface of a liposome can be decorated with peptides which target the liposome to a desired tissue or a site of therapy. Work is done in collaboration with the Centre of Drug Research at University of Helsinki.

The project is a successor of the project LITRE where the method was proved. Now, the target is to create a formulation that could be furthr developed by pharmaceutica industry. Funding: TEKES. Researcher of the project in Aalto, Lauri Viitala, defended his Doctoral Thesis on March 15 this year. 

Principle of the process

Electrodialysis with bipolar membranes (CREDIT)

In hydrometallurgy, leaching is usually done with sulfuric acid that is neutralized by alkaline, resulting significant amounts of aqueous sulfate salt as waste. The amount of sodium sulfate waste in mines and mineral processes will grow considerably in the future as the need for battery chemicals for energy storage and electric vehicles are continuously increasing. Its low value with high processing costs and the savings in chemical costs are critical issues for its recycling. We are developing a novel technology concept for water treatment and chemical recovery of highly concentrated low-value sulfate waste from a battery chemical plant.

The main aim of the project CREDIT is to scale-­up the bipolar electrodialysis (BPED) technology for recycling sodium sulfate in hydrometallurgical processes by converting it to sodium hydroxide and sulfuric acid. We will also provide an economically feasible bipolar membrane-based technology which will reduce environmental discharges. Furthermore, we shall focus on also most suitable pretreatment and post-treatment technologies. The project is financed EIT-Raw Materials program; the other participants are VTT Espoo, Finnish Minerals Group, Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta, and SUEZ Water Technologies.

ET at ITIES

Electrochemistry at the liquid-liquid interface (ITIES)

During the past 30 years, we have studied the electrochemistry of liquid-liquid interfaces, which is quite an original area of research in the field of electrochemistry. Now the research is focused to the metal extraction and reduction boosted with Galvani potential difference across the interface. Experiments are done with the scanning electrochemical microscope (SECM), fixing the Galvani potential difference between the phases via electrolytes distribution (LiTB and BATB).

Funding: Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation

SECM at ITIES
Experimental setup for SECM measurements @ ITIES. MIBK = methyl isobutyl ketone.
Our textbooks

Teaching:

  • Electrochemistry
  • Transport processes

Research group members

Eemi Nieminen

Department of Chemistry and Materials Science
Doctoral Candidate

Pertti Kauranen

Department of Chemistry and Materials Science
Specialist
Lasse Murtomäki

Lasse Murtomäki

Department of Chemistry and Materials Science
Professor (Associate Professor)
Pekka Peljo

Pekka Peljo

Department of Chemistry and Materials Science
Academy Research Fellow

Mahdi Moghaddam

Department of Chemistry and Materials Science
Doctoral Candidate
Kuldeep Kuldeep

Kuldeep Kuldeep

Department of Chemistry and Materials Science
Doctoral Candidate

Latest publications

Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry

Solid electrochemical energy storage for aqueous redox flow batteries

Publishing year: 2019 Electrochimica Acta
Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry

Mechanistic Study on the Photogeneration of Hydrogen by Decamethylruthenocene

Publishing year: 2019 Chemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany)
Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry

Thermodiffusion of sodium polystyrene sulfonate in a supporting electrolyte

Publishing year: 2019 Electrochimica Acta
Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, Department of Chemistry and Materials Science

Axial dispersion and CFD models for the extraction of levulinic acid from dilute aqueous solution in a Kühni column with 2-methyltetrahydrofuran solvent

Publishing year: 2019 Chemical Engineering Research and Design
Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, Department of Chemistry and Materials Science

Closed Bipolar Electrochemistry in a Four-Electrode Configuration

Publishing year: 2019 Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, Bioorganic Chemistry, Soft Materials Modelling, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems

Shape and Phase Transitions in a PEGylated Phospholipid System

Publishing year: 2019 Langmuir
Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry

Photothermal Liposomal Drug Delivery Systems - Physicochemical Aspects in Particle Characterization and Drug Release from Light-Sensitive Drug Carriers

Publishing year: 2019
Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, Hydrometallurgy and Corrosion, Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering

Towards Finnish Battery Metal Ecosystem

Publishing year: 2018
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Energy Efficiency and Systems, Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, Department of Chemistry and Materials Science

Economic feasibility of flow batteries in grid-scale applications

Publishing year: 2018
Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, Analytical Chemistry

Immunoassay of C-reactive protein by hot electron-induced electrochemiluminescence at polystyrene-carbon black composite electrodes

Publishing year: 2018 Electrochimica Acta
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
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