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 study biogeological cycling in complex environmental systems from nanoscale to macroscale, with a view to conserving and restoring sound water environments.

Based on our strong scientific understanding of nanoscale interfacial chemistry and solid nucleation, we seek innovation for sustainable water. We develop 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.

To address challenges in energy-water nexus, our group research involves a more comprehensive investigations of energy-related subsurface operation systems for sustainability, including geologic carbon dioxide sequestration and conventional and unconventional oil and gas recovery, hydrothermal energy, and nuclear waste disposal.

Group Introduction Movie

To Solve Grand Challenges in Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, We Need to Help Our Students Learn about...(click the text for more detailed information)


What's new

A Recent Picture of the Environmental NanoChemistry Lab Members at Shaw Park (July 2017). We missed Yaguang in the picture.

Professor Jun was elected to serve on the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Science (2017-2019). The committee’s mission is to identify new frontiers of chemistry, examine the scientific basis of and formulate public policies related to chemical sciences, and recognize outstanding chemical scientists.

Prof. Jun serves as the editor for a special issue honoring Prof. Donald Sparks in Geochemical Transcations. Members of the research community who have work that fits into the scope of “Frontiers and Advances in Environmental Soil Chemistry” are encouraged to contact Prof. Jun with their proposals.


Click here to see all news from the ENCL since 2008!

April 18, 2018: Congratulations! Our paper entitled "The Effects of Phosphonate-Based Scale Inhibitor on Brine−Biotite Interactions under Subsurface Conditions" was published in Environmental Science & Technology. This study highlights unexpected impacts of phosphonate scale inhibitor (DTPMP) on energy-related subsurface operation. Link to the paper

April 6, 2018: Congratulations! Xuanhao was chosen to attend the 2018 ACS Summer School on Green Chemistry & Sustainable Energy, July 10-17, 2018, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado, and he will receive a full financial support from the American Chemical Society. The summer school explores scientific solutions to global sustainability challenges in green chemistry and sustainable energy.

April 5, 2018: Prof. Jun was chosen to be part of New Voices in Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NVSEM), a new initiative of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

March 18-22, 2018: The Environmental NanoChemistry Lab will present our exciting findings at the American Chemical Society Meeting in New Orleans. We have 9 oral presentations during the meeting. Click the link if you like to see our presentation schedules. Prof. Jun attended the "Committee on Science" meeting and the "Committee on Multidisciplinary Planning Plan Group" meeting and she also organized a special symposium on “Water Use Optimization: Water Quality, Reuse & Treatment” in Environmental Chemistry Division.

March 12, 2018: Congratulations! Dr. Lijie Zhang! Dr. Zhang has successfully defended her thesis and has earned her Ph.D.! We are so proud of you! Dr. Zhang will conduct her postdoctoral work at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. We wish you all the best, Dr. Zhang!

March 6, 2018: Congratulations! Our paper entitled "The Role of Confined Collagen Geometry in Decreasing Nucleation Energy Barriers to Intrafibrillar Mineralization" was published in Nature Communications. This study highlights how nanoscale confined space can promote mineral nucleation by decreasing its energy barrier. Link to the paper (It is open access!); Media coverage: EurekaAlert!, ScienceDaily, Scienmag, Phys.org, etc

February 26-27, 2018: Our Environmental NanoChemistry Lab moved to a brand-new, bigger laboratory! Now you can find us in Brauer 2029!

February 24, 2018: Hello, Future Women Engineers! We offered hands-on workshops for more than 100 female high school student and teacher visitors as a part of the 2018 Women in STEM event.

February 17-18, 2018: Prof. Young-Shin Jun was invited to participate in the Strategic Planning of Committee on Science, American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C.

February 3, 2018: Congratulations to Haesung! Haesung has been selected as a winner of the 2018 Graduate Student Awards in Environmental Chemistry in the Division of Environmental Chemistry of the American Chemical Society.

February 2, 2018: Congratulations! Our paper entitled "Nanoscale in situ Detection of Nucleation and Growth of Li Electrodeposition at Various Current Densities" was accepted for publication in Journal of Materials Chemistry A. Using transmission GISAXS, we show the real-time nucleation, evolution of sizes, and structures of Li dendrite, from primary Li nanoparticles to fractal dimensions. Link to the paper

January 23, 2018: Congratulations! Our collaborative paper entitled "Catalytically-active Bacterial Nanocellulose-based Ultrafiltration Membrane," was accepted for publication in Small. This study is conducted in collaboration with Prof. Singamaneni group. This paper reports a novel membrane, consisting of bacterial nanocellulose loaded with graphene oxide (GO) and palladium nanoparticles (PdNPs), for highly efficient organic-containing wastewater treatment. Link to the paper

January 9, 2018: Congratulations! Our paper entitled "Wollastonite Carbonation in Water-bearing Supercritical CO2: Effects of Water Saturation Conditions, Temperature, and Pressure"was accepted for publication in Chemical Geology. This study provides useful insights into designing more effective and safer CO2-enhanced energy-related subsurface engineering process. Link to the paper

January 1, 2018: Our group is celebrating our 10th anniversary. The Environmental NanoChemistry Lab was created on January 1, 2008. It is our first remarkable 10 year and we are celebrating our achievements. Thank you the team for the great team work!

December 18, 2017: Happy Holidays! Our group had the 2017 holiday dinner followed by the last group meeting of year 2017. As our tradition, we shared our new year's resolutions together. Wish you all have wonderful year 2018!

December 18, 2017: Best wishes to Dr. Haesung Jung! We celebrated Dr. Jung's successful doctoral program. Dr. Jung will start his postdoctoral position at Georgia Tech in January 2018. We wish all the best for him and his family. We look forward to hearing from you about many great news in the future!

December 15, 2017: Congratulations! Our paper entitled "Designing the Crystal Structure of Calcium Phosphate Seed Minerals in Organic Templates for Sustainable Phosphorus Management” was accepted for publication in Green Chemistry. This study reports how engineering nucleation kinetics of calcium phosphate in an organic template facilitates a sustainable phosphorus management in aqueous systems. Link to the paper

December 13, 2017: Congratulations to Lijie! Lijie received the American Chemical Society’s geochemistry division student travel award for attending the Spring 2018 ACS National Meeting in New Orleans March 18-22, 2018. She will compete for the best presentation award in March.

December 11-14, 2017: Haesung worked at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) at the Argonne National Laboratory for MnO2 nanofilm structure characterization.

December 7, 2017: Welcome, Albern! Albern formally joined our group for his doctoral study.

November 23-29, 2017: Doyoon, Haesung, Xuanhao, Deoukchen, Zhenwei, and Yaguang will travel to the Advanced Photon Source in Argonne National Laboratory, IL, to conduct synchrotron-based X-ray scattering (grazing incidence small angle X-ray scattering in Sector 12 ID-B.

November 16, 2017: Congratulations! Xuanhao successfully defended his doctortal thesis proposal, and make him to formally be Ph.D. Candiate.

November 2-3, 2017: Prof. Jun attended in the 2017 All Hands Meeting of the DOE's Energy Frontier Research Center Nanoscale Control for Geologic CO2 and presented our recent progress.

October 27, 2017: Congratulations! Haesung successfully defended his doctoral dissertation. Congratulations, Dr. Jung! He is our 007!

October 24, 2017: As a part of the 30th ACS National Chemistry Week Events, Professor Jun will offer the ACS Program-In-a-Box talk entitled on "Minerals at Water-Energy-Food Nexus". If you like to watch YouTube Video, please visit the link.

Image credit: ACS

October 24-25, 2017: Doyoon travelled to Argonne National Lab for conducting PDF study at sector 11ID-B.

October 23, 2017: Welcome aboard! Weiyi Pan joined us for his research rotation.

October 13, 2017: Congratulations! Our paper entitled "Effects of Phosphate on Biotite Dissolution and Secondary Precipitation under Conditions Relevant to Engineered Subsurface Processes” was accepted for publication in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. This study explains how phosphate-containing brine interacts with caprocks and on the consequent wettability changes. This benefits current and future energy-related subsurface engineering processes. Link to the paper.

October 7, 2017: Welcome to Energy, Environmental & Chemical Enginering! Doyoon, Lijie, Haesung, Xuanhao, Deoukchen, Zhenwei, Yaguang, and Prof. Jun offered a multi-module learning lab “Moving and Shaking” for students in grades 6-8. During this program, we ran three learning modules related to water quality and treatments, acidity and pH, ocean acidification, and dissolution and nucleation.

October 6, 2017: Congratulations! Our paper entitled “Photochemically-assisted Synthesis of Birnessite Nanosheets and Their Structural Alteration in the Presence of Pyrophosphate” was accepted for publication in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. This report presented a new possibility to control the properties of disordered δ-MnO2 birnessite nanosheets using photochemically-assisted sustainable chemistry. Link to the paper.

October 2, 2017: Congratulations! Our paper entitled “Wollastonite Carbonation in Water-bearing Supercritical CO2: Effects of Particle Size” was accepted for publication in Environmental Science & Technology. New findings allow us to compare recent results in the literature obtained using different particle sizes. More importantly, these results can be applicable to scale up the data to larger scale interpretations for field site applications. Link to the paper.

September 11, 2017: Welcome aboard! Albern Tan joined us for his research rotation.

September 6, 2017: Congratulations! Our paper entitled “Kinetics of α-MnOOH Nanoparticle Formation through Enzymatically-catalyzed Biomineralization inside Apoferritin” was accepted for publication in Crystal Growth & Design. A better understanding of manganese oxidation and nucleation mechanisms in a protein cage will allow us to have more systematic prediction and control of particle sizes and morphology during macromolecular templated syntheses of metal (hydr)oxide nanomaterials. Link to the paper.

August 30, 2017: The Jun Group Meeting resumes (4:15-7:00 PM, Every Monday, except August 30, September 6th and 20th), 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 18-21, 2017: Professor Jun attended the ACS meeting in Washington DC to participate in the ACS Committee on Science Meeting and she also attended Geochemistry and Environmental Chemistry Divisions sessions.

August 7, 2017: Congratulations! Dr. Yujia Min! Yujia has successfully defended his thesis! He has earned his Ph.D.! We are so proud of you! Dr. Min will conduct his postdoctoral work at the National Energy Technology Laboratory. We wish you all the best, Dr. Min!

August 7, 2017: Congratulations! Our paper entitled “Incorporating Nanoscale Effects into a Continuum-Scale Reactive Transport Model for CO2-Deteriorated Cement” is accepted for publication in Environmental Science & Technology! Nanoscale reaction mechanisms are important for a more accurate prediction in continuum-scale reactive transport modeling of cement reactions. Link to the paper

August 7, 2017: Congratulations! Our paper entitled “Polydopamine-filled Bacterial Nanocellulose as Biodegradable Interfacial Photothermal Evaporator for Highly Efficient Solar Steam Generation” is accepted for publication in Journal of Materials Chemistry A. This study is conducted in collaboration with Prof. Singamaneni group. The highly scalable, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly materials makes this interfacial evaporator a great candidate for solar steam generation, water distillation in resource-limited regions around the world. Link to the paper.

August 3-10, 2017: Prof. Jun, Doyoon, Haesung, Xuanhao, Deoukchen, Zhenwei, and Yaguang travelled to the Advanced Photon Source in Argonne National Laboratory, IL, to conduct synchrotron-based X-ray scattering (grazing incidence small angle X-ray scattering in Sector 12 and Pair Distribution Functions in Sector 11).

July 25, 2017: Good job, Sammie and Daniel! Our ENCL summer undergraduate researchers presented their research projects at the Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering's Summer Undergraduate Intern Symposium.

July 23-25, 2017, Prof. Jun and Lijie participated in the 2017 Department of Energy's EFRC-Hub-CMS PI Meeting, Washington, D.C..

July 10, 2017: 2017 ENCL's BBQ party! We are a great team together!

July 4, 2017: Congratulations, Yaguang! Through a highly competitive application process, Yaguang was chosen to participate in the 2017 Research Experience in Carbon Sequestration (RECS) for July 22-29, based out of Birmingham, Alabama. This is an intensive 10-day, interactive program combines classroom instruction with group exercises, carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) site visits and hands-on field activities that cover the range of science, technology, policy, and business topics associated with CCUS deployment.

July 2-21, 2017: Yaguang visits the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to work with Dr. Carl Steefel on reactive transport modeling.

July 1, 2017: Professor Jun became Full Professor.

June 28, 2017: Prof. Jun, Doyoon, Xuanhao, and Sammie provided a Hot Topics workshop on "Water" for grade 5-12 teachers in Greater St. Louis.

June 20-22, 2017: Doyoon, Lijie, Haesung, and Xuanhao attended the 2017 Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) Conference, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

June 18-23, 2017: Prof. Jun attended Gordon Research Conference on Environmental Nanotechnology in Vermont and will present our photothermal membrane work.

June 14, 2017: Congratulations! Our account entitled "Nanoscale Chemical Processes Affecting Storage Capacities and Seals during Geologic CO2 Sequestration," was accepted to Accounts of Chemical Research (IF 22.003). This review article introduces our group's contribution to a better understanding of chemistry in geologic CO2 sequestration. Link to the paper

June 13-15, 2017: Yujia attended the 42nd International Technical Conference on Clean Energy (Clearwater Clean Energy Conference), Florida, and he presented his extremely challenging experimental work entitled "Experimental study of SOx and NOx removal from oxy-combustion flue gas under high pressure." This work provides a new experimental insight into an effective SOx and NOx removal engineering process with latent heat recovery. This project is supported by the DOE-National Energy Technology Laboratory. We are collaborating with Prof. Axelbaum, Prof. Yablonsky, and Prof. Kumfer.

June 6-7, 2017: Haesung travelled to Advanced Photon Source to conduct synchrotron-based GIWAXS experiments at Sector 12ID-B in collaboration with Dr. Byeongdu Lee.

June 6, 2017: Congratulations to Doyoon and Xuanhao! Based on their presentation at the 2017 American Chemical Society Meeting in San Francisco, Doyoon and Xuanhao received "Certificate of Merit" from the Division of Environmental Chemistry of the American Chemical Society.

June 5, 2017: Welcome aboard! Samantha Burnell and Daniel Delgado joined our group for their summer research. Samantha worked with us last summer through Washington University's Summer Engineering Fellowship and she returned to conduct summer research with us. Daniel is participating the research as a part of the Leadership Alliance Fellowship Program.

May 20-June 5, 2017: Prof. Jun visited Korea and Hong Kong. During her travels, she visited Seoul National University, Yonsei University, Hanyang University, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

May 18-19, 2017: Congratulations and best wishes! Our group member attended the Commencement Day celemonies. Doyoon, Haesung, Lijie, and Yue celebrated their important career achievements and the ENCL celebrated together.

May 17, 2017: Congratulations to Deoukchen, Yaguang, and Zhenwei! All passed their doctoral qualification exam! Now relax and enjoy your research!

April 26, 2017: Congratulations! Professor Jun completed leadership trainings (January-April, 2017) at the Women Faculty Leadership Institute.

April 21, 2017: Congratulations to Haesung Jung! Haesung received a 2017 graduate research award of the Department of Eneregy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering during the Earth Day Celebration. Prof. Meny Elimelech at Yale University presented the award to Haesung. We all are proud of you! Keep up good work.

April 17-21, 2017: Xuanhao attended a 2017 Materials SAXS Short Course "a Beyond Rg," Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory.

April 10, 2017: Congratulations to Yue and Best wishes for her doctoral study at Caltech! Yue has been the youngest group member. Yue received multiple admissions from prestigious insitutions, and finally she decided to join Caltech for her doctoral program.

April 2-6, 2017: The Environmental NanoChemistry Lab will present our exciting findings at the American Chemical Society Meeting in San Francisco. We have 17 oral presentations during the meeting. Click the link if you like to see our presentation schedules.

March 9, 2017: Congratulations! Our manuscript entitled "Photochemically-assisted Fast Abiotic Oxidation of Manganese and Formation of δ–MnO2 Nanosheets in Nitrate Solution" was accepted to Chemical Communications. A novel two-step abiotic Mn2+ oxidation pathway by nitrate photolysis unlocks fast δ-Mn(IV)O2 nanosheet formation from aqueous Mn2+. Link to the paper

February 25, 2017: Hello, Girls! We offered hands-on workshops for more than 100 female high school student and teacher visitors as a part of the 2017 Women in Engineering event.

February 14-22, 2017: Doyoon, Haesung, Xuanhao, Deoukchen, Zhenwei, and Yaguang travelled to Argonne National Laboratory for two PDF beamtimes at Sector 11ID-B for structural studies and one GISAXS beamtime at Sector 12 ID-B for nucleation work.

February 8-10, 2017: For local atomic structural analyses of nanomaterials, Haesung and Xuanhao travelled to conduct X-ray absorption spectroscopy experiments (Sector 13ID-E) in collaboration with Dr. Matt Newville at Argonne National Laboratory, IL.

January 18, 2017: Congratulations! Our manuscript entitled "Antiscaling Efficacy of CaCO3 and CaSO4 on Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)-Modified Reverse Osmosis Membranes in the Presence of Humic Acid: Interplay of Membrane Surface Properties and Water Chemistry" was accepted to Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. In the presence of humic acid, hydrophilic modification of RO membranes cannot prevent CaSO4 scale formation. Link to the paper

December 22, 2016: Happy Holidays! Our group had the 2016 holiday dinner after the final group meeting of year 2016. Doyoon and Lijie were the honorable speakers of the special group meeting. As we shared our new year's resolutions together, wish all your precious resolutions come true in year 2017! Well done in 2016, the ENCLers, Well done.

December 10, 2016: In collaboration with Washington University's Insitute of School Partnership, our group offered a Hot Topics Workshop for middle teachers in Greater St. Louis. We introduced the urgent needs to secure clean water and water reuse. Each teachers made their own educational kits during the workshop.

December 9, 2016: Welcome aboard, Deoukchen, Zhenwei, and Yaguang! You are formally joining the ENCL for your doctoral program. Let's do great work together!

December 1-2, 2016: We hosted Dr. Bosoon Park from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He presented the department seminar on "Nanobiosensing for Foodborne Pathogens and Toxins Detection." This is a perfect example, how nanotechnology can address globall challenges. It was a great honor to have him in St. Louis.

November 24-29, 2016: For nucleation studies, Doyoon, Haesung, and Xuanhao travelled to conduct X-ray scattering experiments (Sector 12ID-B) at Argonne National Laboratory, IL.

November 17, 2016: Congratulations to Haesung and Yue! They were chosen to be 2017 ACS Geochemistry Division Student Travel Awardees who will attend the ACS meeting in San Francisco. Haesung and Yue will go for the next round for the Best Student Paper Award competition.

November 8, 2016: Congratulations! Professor Jun was elected to serve on the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Science (2017-2019). The committee’s mission is to facilitate the advance of the science of chemistry and the formulation of science policy.

November 5, 2016: Welcome to Energy, Environmental & Chemical Enginering! Yujia, Doyoon, Lijie, Haesung, Xuanhao, and Yue, and Prof. Jun offered a multi-module learning lab “Moving and Shaking” for students in grades 6-8. During this program, we ran three learning modules related to water quality and treatments, acidity and pH, ocean acidification, and CO2 sequestration.

November 1-3, 2016: For structural analysis of nanostructured samples, Doyoon and Haesung travelled to conduct Pair Distribution Function Analysis (Sector 11ID-B) at Argonne National Laboratory, IL.

October 27-28, 2016: Prof. Jun and Lijie Zhang attended in the 2016 All Hands Meeting of the DOE's Energy Frontier Research Center Nanoscale Control for Geologic CO2 and presented our recent progress on (1) biotite reactivity and its wettability changes and (2) calcium carbonate nucleation work.

October 24, 2016: Welcome aboard! Anushree Ghosh and Anshuman Satpathy joined us for their research rotations.

October 22, 2016: Good Job! Gabby presented their summer research results at the 2016 Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium. Lijie was the graduate mentors for Gabby. They have been a great team!

October 20-22, 2016: To investigate nano-bio interfaces, Doyoon Kim travelled to Argonne National Laboratory (IL) for conducting USAXS experiments (Sector 9ID).

October 17-19, 2016: Prof. Jun participated in the 2016 EU-US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, Finland. The U.S. National Academy of Engineering partners with the European Council of Applied Sciences, Technologies and Engineering for organizing the symposium.

September 2016: Professor Jun travelled to participate in the 6th McDonnell Academy International Symposium in Brisbane, Australia, and visited the University of Queensland and the University of Melbourne and gave an invited talk at the Peter Cook Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage at the University of Melbourne.

September 23, 2016: Good news about our group which was shared via Engineering Website. "Using nanotechnology to benefit energy, the environment, health"

September 14, 2016: Congratulations! Our manuscript entitled "Structural Match of Heterogeneously Nucleated Mn(OH)2 (s) Nanoparticles on Quartz under Various pH Conditions" was accepted to Langmuir. This work provides a new platform to quantitatively study heterogeneous nucleation behaviors in environmental systems and materials syntheses. Link to the paper.

September 9, 2016: Welcome aboard! Deoukchen Ghim, Yaguang Zhu, and Zhenwei Gao joined us for their research rotations.

September 2, 2016: Congratulations! Our manuscript entitled "Anorthite Dissolution under Conditions Relevant to Subsurface CO2 Injection: Effects of Na+, Ca2+, and Al3+" was accepted to Environmental Science & Technology. With high cation concentrations in energy-related subsurface brine, the influences of cations on plagioclase dissolution can be as strong as those of pH and temperature. Link to the paper.

September 1, 2016: Professor Jun serves as the Engineering School-Wide Strategic Planning Initiative Committee.

September 1, 2016: Congratulations! Our group received a new grant (SusChEM: Photochemically-Induced Nucleation and Growth of Manganese Oxides at Environmental Interfaces) from the Division of Chemistry.

September 1, 2016: Congratulations! Our group received a new grant (Collaborative Research: Nucleation of Calcium Phosphate Biomaterials) from the Division of Materials Research.

August 1, 2016: Congratulations! Our group received a new grant (SusChEM: Photothermally-Enabled Multifunctional Membranes for Improved Foulant Resistance during Reverse Osmosis) from the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems.

August 31, 2016: We had the first fall group meeting and the farewell party for Dr. Qingyun Li.

Best wishes for Dr. Li! We will miss you. Dr. Li will join Stanford University for her postdoctoral work starting mid-September 2016.

August 31, 2016: The Jun Group Meeting resumes (4:15-7:00 PM, Every Monday, except August 31st and September 7th), 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 25, 2016: Great excitement from the class of 2020! Prof. Jun attended the 2016 Washington University Convocation with the Dean Aaron Bobick, Associate Dean of Student Services Chris Kroeger, and Prof. Mark Meacham. Best wishes to the youngest Bears!

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Our research group interests

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

Our research group (ENCL) information (PDF)

Energy and Environmental Interfacial Chemistry at Nanoscale