2014-15 AEESP Distinguished Lecturer

Bruce E. Logan
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Penn State University
Lecture Tour Dates
September 2014 through April 2015

Professor Bruce E Logan is an Evan Pugh Professor, the Stan & Flora Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering, and Director of the Engineering Energy & Environmental Institute at Penn State University. His current research efforts are in bioenergy production and the development of an energy sustainable water infrastructure. Dr. Logan has mentored over 110 graduate students and post docs, and is the author or co-author of over 380 refereed publications (h-index = 91) and several books. He is the founding Deputy Editor of the new ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and a fellow of AAAS, the International Water Association (IWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), and the Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors (AEESP). Dr. Logan is a visiting professor at several universities including Newcastle University (England) and Tsinghua University (China), with ties to several other universities in Saudi Arabia, Belgium and China. He received his Ph.D. in 1986 from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State in 1997, he was on the faculty at the University of Arizona.

Lecture Topics

Professor Logan will present two lectures in the 2014-2015 Tour:

Lecture 1: Microbial Fuel Technologies for Renewable Power and Biofuels Production From Waste Biomass

The ability of certain microorganisms to transfer electrons outside the cell has created opportunities for new methods of renewable energy generation based on microbial fuel cells (MFCs) that can be used to produce electrical power, microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) for transforming biologically generated electrical current into transportable fuels such as hydrogen and methane gases, as well as other devices to desalinate water or capture phosphorus. In this presentation, Dr. Logan will summarize key findings in the electromicrobiological studies of the exoelectrogenic microorganisms and communities that produce electrical current, and the electrotrophic and methanogenic communities that are used to produce hydrogen and methane gases. Recent advances will be highlighted on materials and architectures that are being developed to make these different types of METs more cost efficient, which are leading to them becoming commercially viable technologies.

Lecture 2: Energy Generation from Water: Just Add Salt

The amount of power that could be generated from the salinity difference between river water and seawater is ~2000 GW. The evaporation and condensation of thermal salt solutions, such as ammonium bicarbonate, could also enable the capture of more than 1000 GW of waste heat energy at industries and existing power plants in the US alone. Three technologies are primarily being investigated to capture energy from solutions with high and low salinities: pressure retarded osmosis (PRO), based on creating pressurized solutions that can power turbines; reverse electrodialysis (RED), where electrochemical potential is captured directly as electrical current using stacks of membranes; and capacitive mixing (CapMix) and battery like reactions that are used in cyclical charging and discharging processes to generate net electrical power. In this lecture, Dr. Logan will primarily focus on RED and Capmix, and show how these salinity gradient energy approaches can be used alone or integrated into different types of microbial electrochemical technologies such as microbial fuel cells. The use of these combined technologies could enable net power generation from wastewater treatment plants located on coastal sites.


Fall/Spring 2014 Schedule

Date University Contact
FALL 2014  
October 7-14 Nankai University Xin Wang, xinwang1@nankai.edu.cn
November 6 University of Southern California Amy Childress, amyec@usc.edu
November 13 Howard University Kimberly Jones, kljones@howard.edu
December 5 University of Colorado Boulder Zhiyong Ren, jason.ren@colorado.edu
SPRING 2015  
January 23 Stanford University Lynn Hildemann, hildemann@stanford.edu
January 29 Clarkson University Tom Holsen, holsen@clarkson.edu
February 4 Georgia Tech Yongshen Chen, yongsheng.chen@ce.gatech.edu
February 6 University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Orlando Coronell, coronell@unc.edu
February 11 Drexel University Chuck Haas, haas@drexel.edu
February 20 University of Texas Austin Des Lawler, dlawler@mail.utexas.edu
February 27 University of Central Florida Steve Duranceau, steven.duranceau@ucf.edu
March 4 Northwestern University George Wells, george.wells@northwestern.edu
March 6 University of Iowa Tim Mattes, tim-mattes@uiowa.edu
April 15 University of Michigan Lut Raskin, raskin@umich.edu
April 17 University of Connecticut Allison Mackay, mackaya@engr.uconn.edu
TBD KAUST Pascal Saikaly, pascal.saikaly@kaust.edu.sa