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Uk Sim

TomKat Center Postdoctoral Fellows in Sustainable Energy

Year Awarded: 2016

Research Lab: Stacey F. Bent

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Uk Sim received his Ph.D. from Seoul National University in South Korea in 2016. During his Ph.D. coursework, he searched for efficient, durable, and inexpensive alternative catalysts for water-splitting reactions. Sim also focused on how nanoscience boosts the kinetics of chemical reactions by applying his materials science and chemical engineering backgrounds to solving fundamental problems.

Develop and Study Catalysis for Electrochemical Ammonia Production

Ammonia is the basis for many fertilizers and is also considered an energy carrier that can power internal combustion engines, diesel engines, gas turbines, and fuel cells. Traditionally, ammonia (NH3) has been produced through the Haber-Bosch process, in which atmospheric nitrogen (N2) combines with hydrogen (H2) at high temperature (350-550oC) and high pressure (150-300 bar). This process consumes 1-2% of current global energy production and relies on fossil fuels as an energy source.  Reducing the input energy required for this process will reduce CO2 emissions and their environmental impacts. For this reason, developing electrochemical ammonia-production methods could be impactful. The goal of this project is to develop electrocatalysts to synthesize ammonia electrochemically from air and water at near ambient temperature and pressure conditions.