CHBE 219

Research Summary

Artificial Photosynthesis, Solar Fuels, UV Photoreactors, Photo-Activated Sensors, Modeling of Chemical and Biochemical Reactors, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

Research interests + projects

Hello! Welcome to my web page at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia. My main research interests are in the computational modeling and experimental study of chemical and photochemical systems with application to energy and environmental engineering. Specific research areas include:

Artificial Photosynthesis & Solar Fuels: Artificial photosynthesis involves capturing energy from the sun and storing it in the form of chemical fuels. The focus of this research is to create engineered solar fuel generators for the photocatalytic production of hydrogen, a leading candidate for the fuel of the future. Our team develops photoelectrochemical cells and multifunctional photocatalysts activated by solar and ultraviolet radiation for hydrogen generation by water splitting and carbon dioxide conversion. Our target is to create sustainable ways of producing solar fuels by utilizing earth-abundant materials and cost-effective processes.

Photoreactors for Water Purification: The ultraviolet (UV) reactor is today’s fastest growing water treatment technology. The primary emphasis of this research is to formulate the next generation of UV photolytic and photocatalytic reactors, by studying their fundamentals including their hydrodynamics, kinetics, and optics. Our current strategic project focuses on the development of new generation of UV reactors operating with UV-LEDs and microplasma UV. The research programs we have been leading in this field continue to have a significant impact on product development in the UV reactor industry.

Photo-activated Chemical Sensors and Bio Sensors: UV photons can be applied as the excitation source for fluorescence-based biological agent detection, or as the activation source of a photo-activated sensing layer for gas and liquid detection. This is a significant capacity, particularly for detecting and monitoring hazardous gases and gas pollutants in industrial and urban settings. Our group is developing a novel gas-sensing technology based on semiconductor/graphene-based sensing material activated by ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (UV-LEDs).  These sensors will be highly sensitive and responsive to a variety of gas species, enabling real-time measurements of air quality, which currently can take several hours for some gases. We are also exploring several new design concepts to integrate the UV-LED-based sensors into wearable devices.

Computational Modeling of Chemical and Biological Systems: Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) plays a significant role in the study of chemical and biological systems and various phenomena happening within these systems. This research program focuses on combining fundamental physical models with CFD to develop chemical and biological reactor performance models for virtual prototyping and design optimization. We also perform experimental analysis, including laser-based imaging techniques, for model evaluation. The optical diagnostic methods utilized include particle image velocimetry (PIV) and planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF). The results of this research are applied to advance the design of new reactors.

Selected publications + presentations

Kheyrandish A., Mohseni M., Taghipour F. (2018) Protocol for Determining Ultraviolet Light Emitting Diode (UV-LED) Fluence for Microbial Inactivation Studies, Envir. Sci. Technol., 52, 7390–7398

Reilly K., Wilkinson D.P. and Taghipour, F. (2018) “Photocatalytic Water Splitting in a Fluidized Bed System: Computational Modeling and Experimental Studies, Appl. Energy, 222, 423–436

Espid, E. and Taghipour F. (2017) Development of Highly Sensitive ZnO/In2O3 Composite Gas Sensor Activated by UV-LED, Sens Actuators B Chem. 241, 828–839

Sohn Y., Huang W., Taghipour F. (2017) Recent progress and perspective in photocatalytic CO2 reduction of Ti-oxide-based nanomaterials, Appl. Surf. Sci. 396, 1696–1711

Song K., Mohseni M., Taghipour F. (2016) Application of Ultraviolet Light-emitting Diodes (UV-LEDs) for Water Disinfection: A Review, Wat. Res. 94, 341–349

Adeli, B. and Taghipour F. (2016) Facile Synthesis of Highly Efficient Nano-structured Gallium Zinc Oxynitride Solid Solution Photocatalyst for Visible-Light Overall Water Splitting, Appl. Catal. A: General 521, 250–258