"Interfaces of Ionic Liquids for CO₂ Separations and Energy Storage" by Burcu Gurkan

Burcu Gurkan A 2

The negligible volatility and tunable physical properties of Ionic liquids (ILs) and similarly Deep Eutectic Solvents (DESs) present opportunities to realize new capabilities in CO2 separations, energy storage, catalysis, and sensors. ILs and DESs are heterogenous liquids with polar and non-polar parts thus their interfaces with solids, gases, and electrodes present interesting properties. The first part of this talk will discuss our approach to engineer the CO2-sorbent interfaces of ILs and DESs in capsules and membranes for energy-efficient separations, specifically for  CO2 removal from cabin air under microgravity and from the atmosphere. Although both ILs and DESs are thought to be structured liquids with similar characteristics, the potential-dependent differential capacitance measurements show distinction between the representative DES ethaline (1:2 molar mixture of choline chloride and ethylene glycol) and those of ammonium, imidazolium and pyrrolidinium-based ILs in terms of its shape: U-shaped for ethaline versus camel-shaped for ILs. The second part of this talk will discuss our understanding of the interfacial behavior of ILs and DESs near electrodes as studied by electroanalytical methods, surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy, and neutron reflectivity measurements. These studies shed light to the electron transfer reaction mechanisms in IL and DES electrolytes as they relate to applications in batteries and electrocatalysis.


Dr. Gurkan’s research program (established in August of 2016 at CWRU) is built on understanding the solvation, transport and interfacial properties of ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents, and applying these fundamentals to electrochemical processes, separations, and sensors.

Dr. Gurkan received the Best Master Thesis Award from the University of Toledo and was awarded Bayer Pre-doctoral Fellowship through the Center for Environmental Science and Technology at the University of Notre Dame, for her studies in the energy and environment field. Some of her notable awards include the NSF CAREER (2021) and NASA Early Career Faculty (2018). She is a Scialog Fellow on Negative Emissions Science (2020 & 2021). She is the thrust leader of one of the two thrusts of BEES (Breakthrough Electrolytes for Energy Storage); an Energy Frontier Research Center of DOE (2018-22). Dr. Gurkan is the 1st Vice Chair of Transport and Energy Processes Division of AIChE. Her achievements were recognized by the Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research journal in the special issue of 2019 Class of Influential Researchers.

Seminar sponsored by the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering