The central aim of the Renner Research Group is to develop biomolecular platforms to control solid-liquid interfaces and thin film assemblies. In doing so, we are enabling a new generation of technologies with applications in implantable devices, sensors, water treatment and renewable energy.
Current Research Areas
Resource Recovery from Waste Streams
We are studying the emerging role of engineered peptides in resource recovery from waste streams. Peptides are gaining attention for use in resource recovery, because they can be highly specific, are environmentally friendly, highly tunable, and have the potential for high-yield and efficient recovery.
Our group is currently investigating the the recovery of nitrogen and phosphorus by precipitation with magnesium to form a slow release fertilizer called struvite and the effects peptides can have on this process.
In addition, our lab is investigating the use of peptides in biosorption, a process that removes substances from the aqueous phase by biological materials, to recover rare earth elements (REEs).
See our latest presentations and webinars on resource recovery of REEs, nitrogen and phosphorous
Peptide Self-Assembled Monolayers for Controlled Biointerfaces
Peptide-modified solid surfaces have high potential to serve in tailored multi-functional SAMs because peptides are:
- easily tunable
- possess controllable, ordered secondary structures
- self-assemble into a variety of structures via different interactions
Our goal is to advance the field of surface modification through a kinetic, thermodynamic, and structural understanding of how peptides assemble on solid substrates and impact surface properties.
See our latest presentations on peptide self-assembled monolayers
Self-assembled Templates for Controlled Organization of Electrode Components
We are developing innovative engineered polypeptide materials which assemble electrode components into favorable configurations. This technology could lead to more efficient utilization of catalysts in fuel cell and electrolysis systems.
See our latest presentations on polypeptide controlled electrode assembly
Green Ammonia Production
We have collaborated on a number of projects to make green ammonia using electricity.
See our latest presentations on green ammonia production