ChBE Seminar: Toward a Mechanistic Understanding of Complex Interfacial Interactions
Speaker: Clint P. Aichele, Associate Professor and Lew Ward Faculty Fellow, School of Chemical Engineering, Oklahoma State University
Title: Toward a Mechanistic Understanding of Complex Interfacial Interactions
Numerous phenomena exist in nature and industry that involve complex interfacial interactions. Applications include coatings, emulsion formation, gas/liquid separation, water treatment, and drug delivery. Many of the challenges that arise in these systems are inherently related to interfacial phenomena. There is a continual need to better understand dynamic interfacial interactions, particularly in the presence of surface active species such as surfactants, nanoparticles, and polymers. This talk presents three such examples that are focused on probing mechanisms that govern complex interfacial behavior. Our recent work on surfactant-nanoparticle interactions at interfaces and the resulting impact on macroscopic emulsion stability and rheology will be presented. In addition, our work regarding the kinetics of gas/liquid separation in the presence of nanoparticles and emulsions will be highlighted. This work is specifically focused on the impact of real fluids, such as emulsions, on the time required to remove gas from a hydrocarbon system at high pressure. Finally, our recent efforts in the area of bio-interfaces will be presented through our investigation of protein stability using zwitterionic architectures. Here, we show that hydrophilic polymers can appreciably protect proteins and enhance thermal stability.
Clint P. Aichele is an Associate Professor and Lew Ward Faculty Fellow in the School of Chemical Engineering at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Aichele's research is in the area of colloids and interfacial phenomena with specific applications in gas/liquid separation, emulsions, enhanced oil recovery, distillation, and flow assurance. His work specifically focuses on engineering interfaces to solve separation challenges in complex fluids. Dr. Aichele received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from OSU in 2004 and Ph.D. from Rice University in 2009. Dr. Aichele worked at ConocoPhillips as a Research Engineer for 3 years in the CO2 Capture and Avoidance group prior to joining the faculty at Oklahoma State University.