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Kai LIU, Ph. D.
School of Engineering
Water-Energy Resilience Research Lab
"Whisky is for drinking, water is for fighting over. Water is the most precious resource on earth and 4 million people die from water related disease every year. That’s why at Westlake University, we are working day and night to bring resilient water solutions to this world. Together, we make the difference!"
Dr. Kai Liu received bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Louisiana State University in 2009. Afterward, he received master’s degree in Chemistry from University of Houston in 2012. A series of environmental disasters occurred in 2011 promoted him to try to solve real environmental problems that are endangering human beings. To that end, he enrolled at Tsinghua University and received Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering. Later he worked at Professor Michael R. Hoffmann’s lab at California Institute of Technology as a postdoctoral researcher. Dr. Kai Liu joined Westlake University in September 2020 as an assistant professor, he is the PI of Water-Energy Resilience Research Laboratory (WATER Lab).
Dr. Kai Liu’s research focused on water-energy nexus. He employs a wide spectrum of physiochemical methods to unveil the catalytic mechanism of electrocatalysts. By elucidating the relationship between the structure of electrocatalysts and their catalytic performance, he designed and synthesized functionalized nanomaterials for the rapid sensing and removal of organic contaminants from the aqueous environment.
The current research interests of WATER Lab include:
1. Designing selective electro- and photoelectro-catalysts for water treatment and energy related applications.
2. Understanding the electron transfer mechanism in electro- and photoelectro-catalysis in environmental relevant conditions.
3. Developing AI enabled smart water treatment technologies with online water quality monitoring system.
4. Geographical diversity of emerging aqueous contaminants.
Opening: WATER Lab is recruiting Ph.D. students, postdoctoral scholars, and research associates. Candidates with backgrounds including but not limited to material science, environmental chemistry, electrochemistry, wastewater treatment, machine learning are strongly recommended to apply. Interested candidates are welcome to send CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Liu, K; Yu, M; Wang, H; Wang, J; Liu, W; Hoffmann, M*. “Metal-Organic Frameworks Derived Multi-Phase Porous Electrochemical Catalysts for Sustainable Electro-Fenton Degradation of Herbicides” Environ. Sci. Technol. 53: 6474-6482, 2019.
2. Liu, K; Yu, Joseph Che-Chin; Dong, H; Wu, Jeffrey C. S.; Hoffmann, M*. “Degradation and Mineralization of Carbamazepine Using an Electro-Fenton Reaction Catalyzed by Magnetite Nanoparticles Fixed on an Electrocatalytic Carbon Fiber Textile Cathode” Environ. Sci. Technol. 52: 12667-12674, 2018.
3. Liu, K; Gao, Y; Liu, J; Zhao, Y; Zhang, K; Yu, G*. “Photoreactivity of Metal Organic Frameworks in Aqueous Solutions: Metal Dependency of Reactive Oxygen Species Production” Environ. Sci. Technol. 50: 3634-3640, 2016.
4. Liu, K; Zhang, S; Hu, X; Zhang, K; Roy, A; Yu, G*. “Understanding the Adsorption of PFOA on MIL-101(Cr)-Based Anionic-Exchange Metal-Organic Frameworks: Comparing DFT Calculations with Aqueous Sorption Experiments” Environ. Sci. Technol. 49:8657-8665, 2015.