Our faculty and graduate students are addressing the needs of society and the environment by developing solutions in water treatment, biomedical engineering, biofuels, nanotechnology, fluid mixing, renewable energy, and process optimization and control. From polymers that can help detect tumor cells, to tissue engineered for spinal cord repair, to aquifers designed to withstand climate change, revolutionary research is happening every day in the Department of Chemical Engineering.
“Thanks to Ryerson’s partnerships with institutions like St. Michael's Hospital, I can rapidly advance my polymer technology and research, and demonstrate its clinical value.”
Dr. Dae Kun Hwang, Professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier II)
Laboratories and Facilities
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Principal Investigator: Stephen Waldman Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute (LKSKI), St. Michael's Hospital
Research in this lab focuses on the engineering of functional cartilage constructs suitable for joint resurfacing, spine repair, and ear and tracheal reconstruction. The lab features equipment required for cell and tissue culture, mechanical testing of soft tissues, mechanical stimulation of cells and tissues, and biochemical and bioanalytical assessments of developed tissues. Students and researchers also have access to the resources available at the LKSKI, which includes a flow cytometry core facility, 3D printer and bioimaging technology.
Both commercial and open-source software are used in this lab, such as ANSYS Fluent, OpenFoam, EDEM and LIGGGHTS to simulate various single-phase and multi-phase flow processes, including complex mixing operations, powder blenders, fluidized beds, bioreactors and conveying systems. The lab also employs CFD-DEM coupling to simulate multiphase solid-fluid systems.
Principal Investigator: Philip Chan KHN-107B, KHN-107C
In this lab, research is ongoing in the mathematical modeling and computer simulation of complex fluids and advanced materials such as liquid crystals and polymers. The lab is equipped with personal computers serving as terminals for access to high-speed workstations and state-of-the-art advanced research computing systems for high-performance computation and data storage.
Applications of oxidation/ozone technology in industrial wastewater treatment and polymeric membrane surface modification are the focus of ongoing research in this lab. You have access to an ozone generator, ozone monitor, UV-Vis spectrophotometer, goniometer and Instron Universal Testing Machine.
This advanced facility enables you to investigate multi-phase flow systems, non-Newtonian fluid flow, complex mixing operations, and granular flow. It is equipped with a state-of-the-art particle-size analyzer, an ultrasonic Doppler velocimeter, and a research-grade rheometer. You also have access to electrical resistance tomography, an automated vision analysis system, a variety of batch and continuous mixing systems, static mixers, powder blenders, and gas-lift reactors.
The focus of this research laboratory is to study the treatment of industrial and municipal wastewater by advanced oxidation technologies integrated with biological processes for optimal removal of contaminants in wastewater. These combined processes are optimized to maximize the degradation of organic pollutants while reducing total costs of overall processes. The lab is equipped with several experimental set-ups for wastewater treatment research, including aerobic and anaerobic bioreactors, photoreactors, sonophotoreactors, adsorption columns, and several small-scale reactors. It is also equipped with analytical instruments, including a respirometer, a total organic carbon/total nitrogen analyzer, a BET surface area analyzer, an incubator/shaker and a spectrophotometer.
This laboratory is mainly utilized for membrane filtration research, including membrane fouling remediation in ultrafiltration processes. The equipment available to you includes a Micromeritic Tristar 3000 Analyzer for particle surface area and porosity measurements, the Malvern Zetasizer Nano Series for measurements of zeta potential of solution and flat surface, a UV-Visible spectrophotometer, and an ozone generator and ozone monitor.
Key areas of research in this lab include green technology, nanotechnology, biotechnology, biomedical engineering, and bioseparation/separation engineering. A bioreactor, autoclave and biological safety cabinet (Class II) are available for your research purposes, as well as a stirred tank reactor system for polymerization studies, and different novel classes of internal and external airlift bioreactors. An XLW (PC) auto universal tensile tester is also available for investigating the mechanical properties of various flexible materials.
In NLEET, you will work on nano-engineered research projects for clean energy storage systems and environmental remediation technologies. Synthesis and characterization facilities include a Gamry potensiostat to measure the electrochemical properties of batteries, capacitors and fuel cells; a gravity oven equipped with customized casting plates to fabricate nanocomposite membranes; an ultrasonicator to either disperse nanoparticles in liquids or break up bulky materials to nanosized structures; and essential synthesis equipment and chemicals to produce smart multifunctional nanostructures, microporous materials and polymer nanocomposites.
This research lab gives you the opportunity to explore synthesis, characterization and application of porous materials (zeolites and metal-organic frameworks). Solvothermal synthesis approaches are engaged to modulate the crystal morphology of porous materials for better catalytic and gas separation performance. Rigorous characterizations are performed to elucidate the growth mechanism of porous materials under synthesis conditions. The equipment available for use includes autoclaves, synthesis ovens, a muffle furnace, a water polishing system (Type I), and a centrifuge.
This laboratory houses the following equipment: 1) a four-zone gasification/pyrolysis apparatus to produce bio-oil and synthetic gas from agricultural and food waste; 2) a high pressure extraction unit using supercritical carbon dioxide as the reaction medium; 3) a high-pressure view cell to determine equilibrium conditions of mixtures comprising solids and gas/liquid phases; 4) enhanced oil recovery systems based on Vapor Extraction (Vapex) and polymer flooding; 5) a polymer injection molding system; and 6) a pressure decay setup to determine concentration-dependent gas diffusivities in liquids.
This is a computing facility for modeling, simulation, optimization and optimal control of chemical processes. High-speed computer workstations and software are utilized for sustainable process design, process integration, and process enhancements.
The primary research conducted in this lab is focused on two main areas associated with the treatment of water/wastewater: vertical bioreactors and microbial processes. The reactors used in the WTL are based on innovative reactor engineering, including three-phase fluidized beds, bubble columns, and fixed-film reactors like rotating biological contactors and multistage vertical bioreactors. Large scale dimensions, as opposed to bench-scale reactors, are preferred in the lab since they better reproduce the fluid mechanics of large flows found in many of the industrial processes studied.