Research interests: nanostructures and porous materials, catalysis and separation
After undergraduate education in chemistry at University of Nantes (France) in 1984, Professor Eric Prouzet received an engineer's diploma from the National School of Industrial Ceramics of Limoges in 1986 and a PhD in material chemistry at the University of Nantes in 1988. He worked in solid stage chemistry and sol-gel processes dealing with materials for energy and electrochromism. He was tenured in 1998 at the University of Montpellier and he is a Senior Scientist at the French National Research Agency at French National Center for Scientific Research (C.N.R.S.) since 2005. He is Associate Professor in chemistry and nanotechnologies at the University of Waterloo since 2006.
Three main domains of interest structure his current activity:
- Innovation: Academic research has four outcomes: knowledge, expertise, discovery, and invention. We tend to claim that "innovation" is any discovery or invention because they share novelty. As a researcher and startup founder, he is working on applying the best innovation path for scientists, illustrate it via seminars and education programs, combining both creative and critical thinking. Also use the most modern methods in the management of innovation to some specific projects: the capture of flue gas and bioconversion of CO2 via the Clear Skyline Project, Intelligence and Management of Information via iMi. Inc., and more specific projects in material chemistry.
- Education: This is the time of the "Gig Economy" when companies are offering fewer jobs but are looking for more skills. We need to find better ways to allow more people to access knowledge and expertise, especially when they cannot even access high education institutions. He is creating online courses and training programs, and designing and building specialized content specially adapted to online teaching. It includes a method to create a multilingual approach automatically, to adjust our education/training structures to the challenges opened by World globalization, and the need for delivering affordable tailor-made teaching and training to those who need it, wherever they are.
- Information: Is it our main challenge to produce more information or to be able to retrieve and use what we have already created? All current search engines can rapidly find thousands of documents within seconds, but we do nothing with them usually because there are too many. Since we are not looking for papers but information, he has developed a new type of search engine (US & Canada patented) based on a brand new paradigm in information searching: no more keywords, metadata, boolean logic, etc.).
PhD, Material Chemistry, University of Nantes, France, 1988
Diploma, Engineer, National School of Industrial Ceramics of Limoges, 1986
BSc, Chemistry, University of Nantes, France, 1984
Professor Prouzet research interests include the synthesis of porous materials and nano-objects with the help of soft matter (micelles, liquid crystals, biogels) with applications in various domains (membrane processes, catalysis, organic or inorganic nanoparticles).
We have developed a specific method for the preparation of mesoporous silica with a good control over the pore size in the range 2 – 9 nm and a narrow pore size distribution. These objects are perfect nanobricks that allow us to build porous bodies where the porosity is created by the assembly of surfactants and the walls by condensation of silica oligomers.
We develop ceramic membranes for both liquid and gas separation in place of energetic processes (distillation, cryogenic processes). Among the most promising fields are sea water desalination for production of fresh water or hydrogen production for fuel cell or CO2 recovery from fossil fuel power plants. Compared with polymer membranes, ceramic membranes offer a better durability and a higher resistance to temperature or corrosive environments. We explore how using commercial nanopowders as starting materials could allow us to build the actual filtration layer (on commercial ceramic supports) with a lower cost. The method that is currently under study is based on a sol-gel based process for achieving the partial densification between nanoparticles.
In another nano research area, we specialize in porous matrixes that can be used as molds for the generation of nanoparticles in a confined environment. We used the dynamics of soft matter to define specific moulds that allow us to shape materials synthesised within. We illustrate this method by the synthesis of nanoslabs of Polypyrrole (pPy). The lamellar shape of these nanoslabs (200 nm size) allowed us to create pPy electrodes on plastic films by simple deposition (collaboration with Prof. Leung, University of Waterloo, Waterloo Advanced Technology Laboratory (WATLab)) and they will be studied as additional matrix for the preparation of thermoelectrical nanocomposites (collaboration with Prof. Kleinke, University of Waterloo, Chemistry). These nanoslabs can be also combined with other nanomaterials like carbon nanotubes and lead to nanocomposite structures that could be good candidates for electrodes in lithium-air batteries.
CO2 recovery must proceed in a way that high purity CO2 can be recovered, which would facilitate its further storage. We built a project with several companies (4) and universities (3: France, Norway, Canada) to develop a platform that could extract CO2 by combining both innovative membranes (devoted to enrich the permeate gas in CO2) and high temperature adsorbents (for trapping reversibly pure CO2). The group is also involved as a main investigator in an Integrated European Program called NanoGLOWA. This program includes 26 partners and intends to provide technological solutions for CO2 trapping from power plants through membranes processes.
Nanostructures and superlattices
Sol-gel and integrative chemistry
- Differential Scanning Calorimetry Study of the Structure of Water Confined within AOT Lamellar Mesophases, E. Prouzet, J.-B. Brubach, P. Roy, J. Physical Chemistry B, 114 (2010) 8081-8088
- ZnO nanostructures grown onto polypyrrole films prepared in swollen liquid crystals via Integrative Chemistry, D.U. Lee, D. Pradhan, R. Mouawia, D.H. Oh, N.F. Heinig, K.T. Leung, E. Prouzet, Chemistry of Materials, 22 (2010) 218-225
- Synthesis of Co3[Fe(CN)6]2 molecular-based nanomagnets in MSU mesoporous silica by integrative chemistry, R. Mouawia, J. Larionova, Y. Guari, S. Oh, P. Cook, E. Prouzet, New Journal of Chemistry, 33 (2009) 2449-2456
- Roughness of mesoporous silica surfaces deduced from adsorption measurements, E. Prouzet, C. Boissière, S.S. Kim, T.J. Pinnavaia, Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, 119 (2009) 9-17
- Palladium Nanowires Synthesized in Hexagonal Mesophases: Application in Ethanol Electrooxidation, F. Ksar, G. Surendran, L. Ramos, B. Keita, L. Nadjo, E. Prouzet, P. Beaunier, A. Hagege , F. Audonnet, H. Remita, Chemistry of Materials, 21 (2009) 1612-1617
Office: QNC 4614
Phone: 519-888-4567, ext.31033