About our laboratory

Our mission is to educate students on how to invent new products and develop new processes which are energy-efficient, sustainable, economical and safe for humans and the environment.

Novel Processes

Our group has the expertise and the equipment to perform a variety of separations and reaction chemistries.  We have a state-of-the-art gravimetric microbalance laboratory which provides us with the unique capability to study the sorption and diffusion of gases and vapors into liquids and solids over a broad range of temperature (-196 °C to 1000 °C) and pressure (vacuum to 170 bar).  We have a pressure-swing adsorption system with 4 beds which can operate at pressures up to 70 bar.  We have a suite of analytical equipment including gas and ion chromatographs, liquid chromatographs and mass spectrometers which can be combined with batch, semi-batch and continuous flow reactors for studying a variety of chemistries.  We have membrane modules for measuring pure gas permeance and the selectivity of mixed gas systems.


Advanced Materials

Our laboratory specializes in the synthesis, characterization and application of advanced materials.  We have an extensive library of over 3000 materials composed of zeolites, ionic liquids, carbons and ion-exchange resins.  These materials are being evaluated for a variety of applications including gas and liquid separations, catalysis, desalination and water purification, interactions with biological systems and extraction of biobased chemicals from renewable feedstocks.   Our goal is to develop new materials with unique properties which can solve relevant problems for our society.


Industrial Research

We actively seek out and partner with chemical companies to develop new commercial products and processes.   Companies can sponsor proprietary projects and take advantage of KU’s world-class research facilities.  We offer a variety of project options.  Discovery projects are short-term (3 to 6 month) proof-of-concept programs.  Innovation projects are typically a year to multi-year programs which involve graduate students and post-graduate researchers.  We offer a service laboratory which is available for sample analysis.  Companies can save time and money by contracting measurements and projects with our laboratory.  We understand that Intellectual Property (IP) issues are often a barrier to industry-academia collaborations; therefore, we work with the University of Kansas Innovation and Collaboration team to create unique IP arrangements that benefit both the sponsor and KU.  If you are interested in sponsoring a project or contract testing services, please contact Dr. Mark B. Shiflett.