We develop fundamental knowledge and technologies to meet an increased demand for energy with minimal environmental impact. Examples of current focus areas include development of active and selective catalysts, advancing new strategies in membrane-based separations, and introduction of next-generation semiconductors for energy research.
Joshua MoonAssistant Professor
Our group focuses on designing advanced polymer materials for clean energy, clean water, and environmental sustainability. We combine modular polymer synthesis with experimental tools that probe both molecular-scale and macroscopic transport in polymers with the goal of informing predictive design of the next generation of materials for membrane-driven separations.
A few areas of interest to our group are:
Predicting gas separation membrane performance in realistic environments
Polymer membranes offer a competitive option for energy-efficient carbon capture and hydrocarbon purification; however, many promising materials developed in the lab fail to perform as well in the field. We aim to bridge this gap by studying how the components in industrial gas and vapor mixtures affect polymer membrane properties at the molecular level and how these dynamic and thermodynamic properties can be leveraged to develop high-performance membranes for efficiently separating complex mixtures vital to the energy industry.
Designing custom-tailored adsorbents for removing toxic compounds from water
Persistent organic pollutants such as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a major contaminant of concern for our drinking water resources. Our lab aims to leverage the versatility and modularity of “click” chemistry to design fit-for-purpose hydrogel membranes and adsorbents with functionality specifically tailored to capture and remove PFAS compounds from water. Adsorption kinetics and thermodynamics will provide a route to link molecular-level structure to PFAS separation performance.
Developing reprocessable polymer materials for membranes and sustainable packaging
As the world edges toward a circular polymer economy, developing reusable materials is becoming increasingly important for mass transfer applications including membranes and food or electronics packaging. We will explore how dynamic chemistry, such as non-covalent interactions, can be used to develop new classes of reprocessable, self-healing materials with desirable barrier or separation properties that could offer more sustainable alternatives to commodity plastics.
Post-doctoral Researcher, 2019-2022, Chemical Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara
Ph.D., 2019, The University of Texas at Austin