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ChE alumnus Aditya Prajapati wins 2022 Sustainable Chemistry Best PhD Thesis Award

UIC chemical engineering alumnus Aditya Prajapati, PhD ’22 received the Sustainable Chemistry 2022 Best PhD Thesis Award. The award is given to a recently qualified PhD student who has created a highly anticipated thesis with great academic potential.

His thesis, “Electrochemical Routes for Upgrading Carbon-based Greenhouse Gases,” focuses on finding new ways to convert carbon-based greenhouse gases into valuable chemicals and fuels using electrochemistry.

“The idea here was to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere while also creating a more sustainable and economically viable energy system,” Prajapati said.

He added that upgrading greenhouse gases is a stepping stone to decarbonizing the industrial sector, including coal-fired power plants that have a large carbon footprint, through these modular electrochemical devices that can make fuels and industry-important chemicals.

Prajapati utilized 3D printing to incorporate a more physical element into the science of the lab-scale devices that can be plugged in easily to an already existing process to reduce carbon emissions.

“I’m humbled, honored, and extremely grateful to have this opportunity to share my work with the scientific community and it’s not just the recognition of my own work but also its ability to highlight the growing importance of sustainable chemistry and address climate change,” Prajapati said.

He graduated from UIC with his PhD in chemical engineering in May 2022 and is currently a post-doctoral researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. During his time as a PhD student, he published seven thesis-related and co-authored an additional eight publications on other collaborative efforts at UIC.

Electrochemistry is the study of electricity and how it relates to chemical reactions. In electrochemistry, electricity can be generated by movements of electrons from one element to another in a reaction known as redox or oxidation-reduction reaction.