The JUN Group (Environmental Nanochemistry Laboratory, ENCL)

The Jun group is exploring the environmental impacts of human activities through improved understanding of the fate and transport of contaminants and nanoparticles. In particular, we aim to improve our understanding of environmental impacts of climate change. We also are studying biogeological cycling in complex environmental systems from nanoscale to macroscale, with a view to conserving and restoring sound water environments.

Our group seeks to enable more environmentally sustainable CO2 sequestration as a mitigation technique for climate change. The group also develops new treatment techniques and catalysts for purifying drinking water and remediating contaminated water and soil, benefiting water reuse, managed aquifer recharge, and reverse osmosis processes. In addition, the ENCL investigates biomineralization and bio-inspired chemistry for novel materials development.

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A Recent Picture of the Environmental NanoChemistry Lab Members at Forest Park (June 2015)

Prof. Jun serves the Program Chair at the American Chemical Society's Geochemistry Division. Many exciting Geochemistry symposia will be held in ACS meeting in San Diego, March 13-17, 2016. Check out the call for abstracts and student travel award opportunities.

Click here to see all news from the ENCL!

Fall 2013- Present: Cool experiments and new learning! The Jun group works with Ms. Eberle, teacher at Brittany Woods Middle School, St. Louis, and Ms. Ruggirello, faculty at Washington University's Institute for School Partnership for developing science curriculum and implementing it in class. (In class, Brittany Woods Middle School, February 12, 2014)

September 17, 2015: Congratulations! Prof. Jun wrote a book chapter entitled "Total X-ray Scattering and Small Angle X-ray Scattering for Determining Structures, Sizes, Shapes, and Aggregation Extents of Iron (Hydr)oxide Nanoparticles (Damien Faivre, Editor)." This book chapter will be published as a part of "The Iron Oxides," following the famous Iron Oxides book by Cornell and Schwertmann, Wiley-VCH.

September 15, 2015: Qingyun, Doyoon, Haesung, Lijie, and Zongsen attended Dr. Mark Wiesner's seminar. Dr. Wiesner gave a Chancellor’s Distinguished Visitor Seminar in Chemical and Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

September 11, 2015: Welcome! Melanie Cohen jouned our group for her undergraduate research project.

September 4, 2015: Welcome, Sungyoon Jung! She joined our group for her research rotation.

September 1, 2015: Congratulations! Our collaboration paper entitled "NanoEHS – defining fundamental science needs: no easy feat when the simple itself is complex" has been published to Environmental Science: Nano. Link to the paper.

September 1, 2015: Congratulations! We started a new project, supported by the National Energy Technology Laboratory, Office of Fossil Energy. This project aims at enabling advanced technology for in situ SOx and NOx capture from flue gases. We will collaborate with Drs. Axelbaum, Kumfer, and Yablonsky.

August 24, 2015: The Jun Group Meeting resumes (4:15-7:00 PM, Every Monday), Brauer Hall 3015.
Please see our group meeting schedule. If you are the first year Ph.D. students and would like to learn the research group, feel free to join the group meeting.

August 16-20, 2015: Prof. Jun attended 250th ACS meeting in Boston. She oversees all Geochemistry symposia during the meeting as the Program Chair of the ACS Geochemistry Division, and organized two symposia ("Subsurface Geochemistry for Energy and the Environment" and "General Geochemistry"). She also presented two talks in Environmental Chemistry and Geochemistry Divisions during the meeting.

August 13-22, 2015: Qingyun attended “Pore Scale Geochemical Processes” MSA short course and the 2015 Goldschmidt conference, Prague, Czech Republic. Qingyun presented her project, "Incorporating pore-scale insights into continuum models for cement degradation under geologic CO2 sequestration conditions." Qingyun received 2015 Geological Society of America Student Travel Award to attend the meetings.

August 3, 2015: Congratulations! Haesung became a father! Best wishes for the bigger family!

July 30-August 2, 2015: Doyoon conducted small angle X-ray scattering experiments at the Advance Photon Source (sector 12 ID-B), Argonne National Laboratory.

July 31st, 2015: Prof. Jun and Dr. Neil conducted the second Hot Topic outreach workshop with middle school teachers in St. Louis area. This is a part of our research group's collaborative efforts with Washington University's Institute for School Partnership on broader impacts of our reseaarch to the society and St. Louis community. We appreciated the enthusiams of the participants for excellence in education.

July 24, 2015: Dr. Ray (aka Jess Ry, P.D.), Congratulations and Best Wishes!

We had a farewell party for Jessica. Dr. Jessica Ray will be the 2015 Miller fellow and conduct her postdoctoral research with Prof. David L. Sedlak in the Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California-Berkeley. Dr. Ray is our proud Ph.D. alumna of the ENCL group.

July 23, 2015: Congratulations! Dr. Ray is in the newspaper! Jessica interviewed with The St. Louis American and offered engineering education experience and advices to young students. "Engineer advises students: Take care of business" Link to the newspaper.
Link to the School of Engineering News.

July 14, 2015: Congratulations! Our manuscript entitled "Distinctive Reactivities of Edge Planes of Biotite in the Presence of Organic Ligands: Implications for Organic-Rich Geologic CO2 Sequestration Sites" was accepted to publish in Environmental Science & Technology. This is Lijie's first first-authored paper! The high edge reactivity of clay minerals matters in transport of organic-reactive fluids and CO2 flow. Link to the paper

July 9-13, 2015: Haesung conducted synchrotron-based X-ray absorpion spectroscopy and crystal trunction rod experiments at sectors 13 ID and BM at the Advance Photon Source in the Argonne National Laboratory.

July 8-10, 2015: Prof. Jun was invited to participate in 2015 U.S. Department of Energy's Basic Research Needs for Environmental Management Workshop, Maryland.

July 1, 2015: Dr. Neil and Prof. Jun participated in Hot Topics "Human Impacts on the Environment" Workshop for middle school teachers in St. Louis and Illinois areas. We demonstrated educational kits for teaching managed aquifer recharge and water filtration. These processes are designed to respond water shortage problems due to climate change and recent socioeconomic development. The discussion related to recent California's drought problems was made as well.

July 1, 2015: Congratulations, Dr. Jessica R. Ray! Jessica has successfully defended her thesis!

June 29, 2015: Prof. Jun provided an invited lecture on Nanoscience and the Environment for high school students in St. Louis as a part of Students and Teachers as Research Scientists (STARS) program, at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis.

June 26-July 1, 2015: Qingyun, Doyoon, and Haesung have travelled to Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory for conducting grazing incidence small angle x-ray scattering experiments at sector 12ID-B.

June 23-26, 2015: Prof. Jun visited School of Environmental Science & Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, South Korea. During this visit, she has provided short course lectures on Environmental NanoChemistry.

June 15-19, 2015: Prof. Jun has been named a 2015 Kavli Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). She participated in the 2nd Korean-American Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium which was supported by the Korean Academy of Science and Technology and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

June 5, 2015: We celebrated Chelsea's Doctor of Philosophy degree. Congratulations, Dr. Neil! Best wishes!

June 1, 2015: Welcome New Member! Jyoti Campbell joins our group for her summer undergraduate research. She is currently attending Wellesley College.

May 2015: Prof. Jun will visit Stanford University as a visiting professor at the Stanford Center for Carbon Storage (SCCS) and Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP)

May 29, 2015: Prof. Jun visited the Calera Corporation headquaters and research and development facilities and gave a talk "An Interesting pair, Calcium Carbonate and Cement".

May 27-28, 2015: Prof. Jun, Qingyun and Lijie attended Stanford Center for Carbon Storage annual meeting and workshop.

May 20, 2015: Prof. Jun gave an invited seminar at Stanford Center for Carbon Storage. The talk title was "Physicochemical Processes Affecting Seals during Geologic CO2 Sequestration: Where Chemistry Meets Hydrogeology and Geomechanics"

May 15, 2015: Congratulations! Jessica and Chelsea were hooded for their doctoral degrees at the commencement ceremony. Jessica was selected to serve as the 2015 Commencement Marshal for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Washington University. Congratulations and best wishes!

May 13, 2015: Congratulations, Zongsen! He passed his qualifying exam!

May 11, 2015: Congratulations, Dr. Neil! Chelsea has successfully defended her thesis!

May-June 2015: Qingyun and Lijie visit to work with Drs. Carl Steefel, Tetsu Tokunaga, Jiamin Wan, and Yongman Kim at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley.

May 05, 2015: Congratulations! Our paper entitled “Hydrophilic, Bactericidal Nanoheater‒Enabled Reverse Osmosis Membranes to Improve Fouling Resistance,” has been accepted to ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. Our innovative membrane design reported in this study can significantly extend the lifetime and water treatment efficacy of reverse osmosis membranes to alleviate escalating global water shortage from rising energy demands. Link to the paper

May 1, 2015: Congratulations! Our group received a new grant from the International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and Sustainability (I-CARES). We will work with Dr. Singamaneni to develop new water treatment systems empowered by renewable energy source.

May 1, 2015: Congratulations! Our paper entitled “Effects of Sulfate during CO2 Attack on Portland Cement and Their Impacts on Mechanical Properties under Geologic CO2 Sequestration Conditions,” has been accepted to Environmental Science & Technology. This interdisciplinary study quantitatively shows that the presence of sulfate significantly mitigates CO2 attack on cement under GCS conditions. Link to the paper This article was featured on the ES&T website in its week of publication..

April 2015: Professor Jun visited Prof. Kris McNeil's lab (Environmental Chemistry) at ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich).

April 29, 2015: Prof. Jun gave an invited seminar at Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology). The title of the talk is “A New Story about Arsenic and Iron (Hydr)oxides: What more can nanochemistry tell us?”

April 20, 2015: Congratulations! Our paper entitled “Chemical Reactions of Portland Cement with Aqueous CO2 and Their Impacts on Cement’s Mechanical Properties under Geologic CO2 Sequestration Conditions,” has been accepted to Environmental Science & Technology. Link to the paper

April 17, 2015: Congratulations to Chelsea Neil! Chelsea received a 2015 graduate research award of the Department of Eneregy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering. Chelsea, we all are proud of you!

April 14, 2015: Congratulations to Althea and Best wishes for her doctoral study at Caltech! Althea received multiple admissions for her Ph.D. program and she decided to join Caltech.

April 7, 2015: Congratulations! Our paper entitled “Enhanced Colloidal Stability of CeO2 Nanoparticles by Ferrous Ions: Adsorption, Redox Reaction, and Surface Precipitation,” has been accepted to Environmental Science & Technology. Dr. Liu, Jessica, and Chelsea contributed equally to the work. Qingyun co-authored the manuscript. Great teamwork! Congratulations to all. Link to the paper

April 7, 2015: Congratulations! Our big Kudos! Environmental Science & Technology has selected our group manuscript, “Water Chemistry Impacts on Arsenic Mobilization from Arsenopyrite Dissolution and Secondary Mineral Precipitation: Implications for Managed Aquifer Recharge” (Neil et al., ES&T, 2014, 48, 4395-4405) as ES&T Top Science Paper of 2014. Annually, ES&Treceives more than 5000 articles, and last year ES&T published more than 1700 papers. Among them, our manuscript was selected as the #1 science article. Congratulations, Chelsea! she is the first author of this mansucript. Podcast (Episode 9); Click here for the announcement

April 6, 2015: Congratulations to Yue and Vanessa! Yue and Vanessa were selected to receive 2015 Summer Undergraduate Research Awards (supported by Washingtonn University's Ofiice of Undergraduate Research)! They will continue conducing research during this summer with us. Emily has also received the 2015 summer undergraduate research award, but she declined the fellowship for an industrial internship in WA.

March 21-26, 2015: Prof. Jun, Jessica, Chelsea, Qingyun, Yujia, Doyoon, Haesung, and Lijie attended the 249th American Chemical Society meeting in Denver, CO. For our complete presentation schedules, please click here.

March 12-20, 2015: Jessica, Chelsea, Qingyun, Yujia, Doyoon, Haesung, and Lijie travel together to conduct experiments at the Advanced Photon Source, in the Argonne National Laboratory. We had beamtimes for four techniques: Grazing incidence small angle x-ray scattering at sector 12 ID-B, Pair Distribution Function at 11 ID-B, X-ray Absorption spectroscopy at 13 BM-D, and high pressure and high temperature microtomography at 13 BM-D.

March 5, 2015: Professor Jun visited Dr. Alexandra Navrotsky's Lab at the University of California-Davis and gave a seminar on calcium carbonate formation on geomedia and cement.

February 28, 2015: As a part of the 2015 Women in Engineering event, the ENCL gave hands-on workshops for around 100 female high school students and teachers to introduce environmental nanochemistry and environmental engineering (managed aquifer recharge and geologic CO2 sequestration), and talked about engineering career experience. Jessica, Chelsea, Qingyun, Doyoon, Lijie, and Zongsen offered the workshop sessions.

February 27, 2015: Professor Jun gave a Department Seminar in Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of California-Berkeley. She presented about important reaction of seals in energy-related subsurface environments.

February 4-8, 2015: Qingyun, Yujia, Lijie, and Zongsen travel together to conduct experiments at the Advanced Photon Source, in the Argonne National Laboratory. We use synchrotron-based grazing incidence small angle-X-ray scattering (GISAXS). We newly built a high pressure and temperature reactor for high pressure and temperature GISAXS experiment, which enables us to study geologic CO2 sequestration conditions in situ.

February-March, 2015: Professor Jun visits Berkeley to collaborate with colleagues at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California-Berkeley.

January 22, 2015: Congratulations to Jessica! She received 2015 Miller Research Fellowship Award. The Miller Institute at Brekeley chose individuals of outstanding talent, and provide them with the opportunity to pursue their research on the Berkeley campus. After she defends her thesis, Jessica will work with Prof. David L. Sedlak for her postdoctoral research in the Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California-Berkeley.

January 2, 2015: Congratulations to Chelsea! Chelsea has been selected as a winner of the 2015 Graduate Student Awards in Environmental Chemistry in the Division of Environmental Chemistry of the American Chemical Society. This is an excellent way to start Year 2015!

December 30, 2014: Congratulations! Our paper entitled “Plagioclase Dissolution during CO2-SO2 Co-sequestration: Effects of Sulfate,” has been accepted to Environmental Science & Technology. This is Yujia's first first-authored paper. Dr. James Kubicki at Penn State collaborated with us. This is a nice way to wrap up Year 2014! Good job, Yujia! Link to the paper

December 22, 2014: ENCL enjoyed the 2014 holiday dinner. Job well-done, the ENCL! Best wishes for our group in 2015.

December 2014: Professor Jun visited Korea as the McDonnell International Academy Ambassador to Seoul National University. During the visit, international collaboration efforts between Washington University and Seoul National University have been discussed. Picture: President Sung at Seoul National University (middle), International Affairs Dean Jeong (left), and Prof. Jun (right). (photo credit: Seoul National University)

December 8, 2014: Congratulations! Doyoon passed his thesis proposal defense. He officially earned his doctoral candidacy! His proposal title is "Mechanisms of Calcium Phosphate Mineralization on Biological Interfaces and their Engineering Applications."

December 5th, 2014: Welcome aboard! Zongsen formally joined the ENCL as a Ph.D. student.

November 25-December 4, 2014: Jessica, Chelsea, Qingyun, Yujia, Doyoon, Haesung, and Lijie travel together to conduct experiments at the Advanced Photon Source, in the Argonne National Laboratory. We use synchrotron-based small angle-X-ray scattering (SAXS and GISAXS), X-ray pair-distribution function analyses PDF), and X-ray high pressure and temperature tomography.

November 21, 2014: Congratulations! Haesung passed his thesis proposal defense. He officially earned his doctoral candidacy! His proposal title is "Abiotic- and Biotic-Formation of Manganese Oxides and Their Fate in Environmental Systems"

November 20, 2014: Congratulations! Lijie passed her thesis proposal defense. She officially earned her doctoral candidacy! Her proposal title is "Coupling of Geochemical Reactions and Geophysical Properties of Clay Minerals In Energy-related Subsurface Engineered Systems"

November 20, 2014: Dr. Randall T. Cygan, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories, gave a special seminar in the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering, entitled "Molecular Mechanisms of Environmental Processes." The ENCL members are honored to host Dr. Cygan at Washington University.

November 15, 2014: Yujia gave a talk on effects of SO2 co-injection on feldspar dissolution during geologic CO2 sequestration at the 2014 Mid-America Environmental Engineering Conference, Rolla, MO.

November 15, 2014: Welcome to Energy, Environmental & Chemical Enginering! Jessica, Chelsea, Qingyun, Doyoon, Lijie, Haesung, and Prof. Jun offered a multi-module learning lab “Moving and Shaking” for students in grades 6-8. During this program, we ran four learning modules related to water quality and treatments, acidity and pH, global warming and CO2, and ocean acidification.

November 3-7, 2014: Prof. Jun, Qingyun, and Lijie participated in a symposium of the Energy Frontier Research Center on Nanoscale Control of Geologic CO2 at Berkeley (NCGC). Prof. Jun and Qingyun presented our results at the meeting. Qingyun and Lijie also worked with NCGC collaborators at the center about reactive transport modeling, high temperature and pressure wettability test, molecular simulation, and in situ advanced techniques at the Molecular Foundry at Berkeley.

November 1, 2014: Prof. Jun was invited to participate in a NSF-sponsored workshop on NanoEHS: Fundamental Science Needs, Boston, MA.

October 20, 2014: Welcome! Wei Yang and Yeunook Bae joined our research group for their research rotation.

October 16-19, 2014: Washington University organized the 5th McDonnell Academy International Symposium: The Role of Research Universities in Addressing Global Challenges. Representatives and leadership from 28 McDonnell International Scholoars Academy institutions came together to discuss the role of universities in addressing the glocal challenges. Prof. Jun participated in the symposium as the ambassador to the Seoul National University and presented our group research related to geologic CO2 sequestration. McDonnell Symposium

October 11, 2014: Good job! Althea (YanZhe) Zhu (undergraduate researcher) presented at the 2014 Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium. She introduced her project related to the reactivity and stability of engineered CeO2 nanoparticles in aqueous systems. Althea received 2014 summer undergraduate research fellowship. Jessica Ray and Chelsea Neil have been working with Althea.

October 8, 2014: Welcome! Vanessa Wu (Freshman, EECE) joined our research group. She will work with Doyoon for toxic metal removal by calcium phosphate formation.

September 18, 2014: Congratulations! Our paper entitled “Different Arsenate and Phosphate Incorporation Effects on the Nucleation, Growth, and Formation Location of Iron(III) (Hydr)oxides on Quartz,” has been accepted to Environmental Science & Technology. Chelsea is the first author of the paper. Link to the paper

September 11-12, 2014: Jessica, Chelsea, Qingyun, Doyoon, and Haesung attended the conference on Synchrotron Environmental Science VI and presented their research findings. The conference was held at Argonne National Laboratory, IL.

September 9, 2014: Welcome! Master of Engineering student, Yinxuan Qiu joined our group for his independent study.

Septemember 8, 2014: Welcome! First year Ph.D. students, Zhichao Li and Zongsen Zou joined our group for research rotation.

August 25, 2014: Welcome! EECE Undergraduate student, Andrew Poehlman, joined our group.

August 25, 2014: The Jun Group Meeting resumes (4:15-6:00 PM, Every Monday), Brauer Hall 3015.
Please see our group meeting schedule. If you are the first year Ph.D. students and would like to learn the research group, feel free to join the group meeting.

August 17-22, 2014: Prof. Jun attended the Gordon Research Conference on Biomineralization, Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, August 17-22, 2014.

August 13, 2014: Congratulations! Chelsea was chosen as an Early Career Travel Award recipient and Haesung was chosen to receive a Travel Award for the conference on Synchrotron Environmental Science VI, which is being held at Argonne National Laboratory, September 11-12, 2014. Chelsea will also give an oral presentation of her project!

August 14, 2014: Prof. Jun provided an invited talk about the stability of CeO2 engineered nanoparticles in engineered aquatic systems (e.g., wastewater treatment plants) in a special symposium of "Engineered Nanomaterials Interacting with Natural and Engineered Interfaces,” The 246th ACS National Meeting and Exposition, San Francisco, CA, August 10-14, 2014.

August 1, 2014: Congratulations! Our group received a new grant (Nano- and Macroscale Physico-chemical Processes Impacting Arsenic Mobilization) from the National Science Foundation. This project is co-sponsored by EAR Gebiology and Low-Temperature Geochemistry program and CBET Environmental Engineering program.

July 23-28, 2014: To study geologic CO2 sequestration, Qingyun, Yujia, and Lijie conducted high pressure and high temperature small angle X-ray (SAXS) and wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) experiments at Sector (12ID-C) at Advance Photon Source. The systems included supercritical CO2-brine-minerals.

July 18, 2014: Congratulations! Andrew,a high school student researcher at ENCL, successfully conducted summer research and did an excellent presentation regarding his research findings at the STARS program. He received the STARS certificate. Andrew has been working with Chelsea, Jessica, Althea, and Prof. Jun to investigate CeO2 fate and transport in the aquatic environments. Congratulations to all mentors and Andrew! Good team work!

July 18, 2014: Congratulations! Prof. Jun received a research mentor award for 5 year service at the STARS program.

May 19, 2014: PBS Nine Network's introduction of our outreach program. Ms. Eberle and Ms. Ruggirello spoke about our educational collaborative efforts during their interview with PBS ("Schoolwork: An American Graduate Special--- Exploring how innovative methods and community partnerships are being used in the St. Louis area to improve student performance.") If you would like to watch, look the video frame at 9-11 min in the link.

May 9, 2014: Washington University’s Institute for School Partnership (ISP) featured our group's outreach program in ISP's May newsletter. Click for the webpage write-up.

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Our research group interests

Environmental Chemistry
Surface/Physical Chemistry
Environmental Engineering
Biomineralization & Bio-inspired Materials Chemistry

Our research group (ENCL) information (PDF)