Natural carbonaceous materials (NCMs) are of unsurpassable importance to Canadian economy. Yet significant concerns have been raised regarding the environmental effects of NCM processing and utilization, not only in Canada but also globally. As scientists and researchers, we should take this as the call for a satisfied solution to balance economic developments and environment protections. Our research mission is to fundamentally understand the behaviors and properties of NCMs, and further develop efficient and environment-friendly processing methods to maximize their utilization and economic value. We believe the “green” and novel applications of NCMs generated from our research program can bring in huge societal benefits beyond economic interests.
Numerical simulations, especially molecular dynamics techniques coupled with density functional theory and coarse-grained modeling, allow to examine physical and chemical processes from different levels with desired resolutions, and thus are ideal tools to reveal underlying interaction and molecular mechanisms responsible for the observed physical/chemical phenomena. Using these tools, we have been actively contributing to the energy, environmental, and materials fields. Our current research is focusing on the following areas:
- Industrial processing of NCMs;
- Multiscale modelling of colloidal systems;
- Structural materials synthesis;
- Carbon-conversion chemistry;
- Water and wastewater treatment;
- Organic electronics.