Nathanael Assefa

Nathanael  Assefa
MIT ChemE | Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: Martin Bazant
Department: ChemE
Areas of Research: Energy
Years: 2019-2020
Research Project Title:

Optimizing Electrokinetics in Nanopores

abstract:This project will optimize pore design characteristics for energy conversion efficiency and ion separation using a generalized electrokinetic solver. The first phase involves designing a process to pump an ion up its concentration gradient via electric fields or fluid flow. The second step is to write solvers for the electric potential necessary to optimize the overall energy conversion for two reservoirs of fixed volume that are connected by a charged nanopore for ion exchange under various conditions, the optimal pore properties to separate solutions of multivalent ions from a mixture of monovalent and multivalent cations, and to identify the sort/extent of pore interactions necessary to separate mixtures of monovalent ions. Finally, we will consider the effect of asymmetries in radius, concentration, and pH on the overall energy conversion.

"I'm participating in SuperUROP because I want to hone my research skills and expand on my physical and computational math course work by modeling electrochemical energy systems. I have learned a lot through my UROP experiences in the group and I am excited to apply this knowledge to a larger, more self-directed project through this SuperUROP."