Berry Research lab

Innovative Technologies

Catalysis, Cell Biology on Nanostructures, and Biocatalysis

Our research spans a wide range of areas from energy production including hydrogen fuel cells to cell culture studies on modified surfaces. Our research interests include molecular electronics, drug delivery using microfluidic systems and cell biology applications. Our novel approach to overall interdisciplinary can be shown in the following flow diagram: 

Noval approach to overall interdisciplinary technology flow diagram                      

Fischer−Tropsch Synthesis in Silicon- Microchannel Microreactors:

The use of microreactors to screen catalysts for FT reaction has received wide attention due to its high heat dissipation for exothermic reactions, efficient mass transfer, high reaction throughput, precise control of hydrodynamics, portability, lab-on-chip analysis, and easy scale-up. Dr. Kuila and his group successfully used Silicon based microchannel microreactors for FT synthesis using silica sol−gel-encapsulated iron, cobalt, and ruthenium nanocatalysts. Our study suggests that microreactors can play a crucial role in catalysts screening and development of easily scalable technologies for FT synthesis.

CREST center innovative technologies

Characterization of nano-catalysts for syngas conversion to higher alkanes and steam reforming (H2 production) of methanol, glycerol and biofuels: We performed methanol steam reforming by investigating Comparative performances of Cu, Co, Ni, Pd, Zn, and Sn catalysts incorporated in high surface area MCM-41 matrix. Currently, biodiesel price is not competitive yet. Glycerol, a byproduct of biodiesel, has gained the spotlight as a renewable source to produce H2 due to increasing trend in the production of biodiesel which will result in decrease in biodiesel price. Glycerol, the simplest trihydric alcohol is also an oversupply crisis across the world. We performed key experiments on steam reforming of glycerol were carried out using Ni and Co metals supported on MgO-modified SBA-15 catalysts. We observed increase in glycerol conversion and catalyst stability by modification of SBA-15 with MgO and the bimetallic catalyst showed higher stability compared to the monometallic Co-SBA15 species. Similarly, a series of Co-Ni-MCM-41 catalysts modified with CeO2 & TiO2 were developed.

Cell culture studies on micro/nano-porous Si, Ti/TiN sputtered on porous-Si and SAM-ITO towards the development of biosensors:

Bioengineering of dermal and epidermal cells on surface modified substrates is an active area of research. We studied cytotoxicity, maintenance of cell phenotype and long-term functionality of human dermal fibroblast (HDF) cells on conducting indium tin oxide (ITO) and semiconductor materials (Si, GaAs). Cell growth is observed to be greater on SAM modified ITO and Si-substrates. The results from our study suggest that the SAM-modified Si, GaAs and ITO substrates may be used as a model to study the interaction of cultured cells with biomaterials and for obtaining qualitative and quantitative information. The results obtained from the HDF studies can also be extended to other mammalian cell types and stem cells.

CREST center innovative technologies

Facilities:

Micro-reactor setup for Syngas conversion:

CREST center innovative technologies

Steam Reforming of Glycerol Experimental setup:

CREST center innovative technologies