Sheel Sanghvi is currently an undergraduate student studying Material Science and Engineering in the School of Engineering. He is an intern at the Rutgers Energy Institute for the summer of 2013, working with Professor Glenn Amatucci and Dr. Nathalie Pereira of the Energy Storage Research Group.
Q: Please briefly describe your research. This research focuses on forming a connection between two completely different industries. The goal is to prove that spent pickling liquor, a waste product from the stainless steel industry, can be converted into iron fluoride, which is a precursor for battery production. Pickling liquor contains a mixture of hydrofluoric and nitric acids as well as iron, chromium, and other metals. Current literature supports the concept that the hydrofluoric and iron components can be extracted as iron fluorides through techniques such as precipitation or chemical treatment. Additional steps are then taken in the conversion process to dehydrate the sample and provide the precursor material. Furthermore, research into the conversion process is occurring concurrently to the establishment of an environmental and economic case to justify this technology.
Q: How did you come to be involved in this research? I have worked at the Energy Storage Research Group for the past 2 years on various projects. This summer I wanted to try something new, so I talked to Professor Amatucci, who suggested this project. I chose to engage in this project because it involved a complete picture of materials fabrication: synthesis as well as environmental and economic concerns.
Q: Where do you see your research fitting into our energy future? This research fits ideally into the energy goals our society strives to achieve. It produces a better battery technology in an environmentally and economically conscious manner. This research proves that the simple conversion of waste from one industry can create a marketable product for another.