We are scientists and engineers who apply chemical kinetics analysis and modelling to complex chemical systems of practical interest.

Applied chemical kinetics has a wide range of practical applications, from environmental studies to industrial problems, such as the rate of ozone depletion in the atmosphere, contaminant transport in ground waters, chemical evolution of mine tailings, the rate of pipeline corrosion, etc.  The solution to such problems lies in an integrated approach, combining experimental and modelling studies.

Our primary focus is the study of the chemical reactions and transport phenomena occurring in ionizing radiation environments.  A detailed understanding of these is crucial for assuring nuclear safety and materials integrity.

High radiation fields create a dynamic chemical environment, particularly in systems where water is present.  Radiolysis of water produces highly reactive radicals (•OH, •H, e¯(aq), •HO2 and •O2–) and molecular species (H2, O2 and H2O2).  The reactions of these species are often responsible for the evolution of the chemistry and the degradation of the materials of nuclear reactor systems.

Our particular interests are:
a) the chemistry and transport phenomena in nuclear reactor containment buildings under postulated accident conditions,
b) the influence of redox conditions on materials in high temperature/pressure reactor coolant systems.
c) The influence of radiolytic oxidants on the corrosion of nuclear fuel waste containers.

Research topics to address these issues include:
a) the impact of dissolved trace metals and nitrogen-containing compounds on the radiolysis behaviour of water,
b) the effects of metal/metal oxide surfaces on radiolysis and redox chemistry,
c) the effects of radiolysis products on the degradation of metals,
d) the production of metal oxide nanoparticles by radiation -induced redox conversions.

The development of solutions to such complex problems requires a combination of experimental and modelling approaches.

Experimental equipment at our disposal includes:
-Irradiator
Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS)
Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectrometer
UV-Vis Spectrophotometer
A suite of electrochemical instruments (e.g., Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy)
Scanning Electron Microscope
Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometer
X-ray Photoelectron Spectrometer
Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer
Raman Spectrometer
Scanning Raman Microscope
High Pressure/High Temperature Reaction Vessels
Electron Backscatter Diffractometer
Auger Electron Spectrometer
Focused Ion Beam
Etc.

Modelling approaches include simulation of the chemical kinetics and transport processes occurring in laboratory-scale experiments and their expansion to the modelling of full-scale systems.  The coupled rate equations of the processes are solved using commercially available numerical integration software such as FACSIMILE, MATLAB and COMSOL.  The creation and validation of practical models is a sophisticated exercise in chemical kinetic analysis.

We are currently looking for graduate students (MSc and/or PhD). If you are interested, please contact us:


Who are we?
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Who we are:

  • We are experts in radiation chemistry


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Prof. J. Clara Wren
519-661-2111 ext. 86339
jcwren@uwo.ca

Department of Chemistry
1151 Richmond Street
London, Ontario, Canada,
N6A 5B7
Tel: 519-661-2166
chem@uwo.ca

http://www.uwo.ca/chem/graduate/docs/applying_to_chemistry_graduate_program.pdf