Donald Kirk

Key Research Areas
Associated Researchers
Associated Organizations

Recent Research Projects

Applied Interfacial Electrochemical Technology

2019/20 • $37,940 • PI
This Discovery Grant will advance my interfacial electrochemical research program in 3 areas. The newest research has developed a low energy method of converting carbon dioxide to value added products. USA and PCT applications have been submitted to protect this novel electrochemical technology...

Nickel Catalysts for Electrochemical Clean Energy "Ni Electro Can"

2015/16-2018/19 • $4,000,000 • PI,CO
No summary

Developing Novel Processes for Copper Patination as a Green Building Material

2018/19 • $25,000 • PI
The use of copper patination has been growing rapidly over the past decade. Copper has been used for centuries due to its*longevity, durability, practicality and beauty. However, the recent global trend towards eco-friendly resource-efficient buildings has*resulted in a rapidly growing interest...

Interfacial Electro-technology for Low Carbon Footprint Biodiesel

2017/18 • $24,000 • PI
This proposal will develop a new market-disruptive technology involving carbon dioxide utilization. The technology is both economic and can be operated at an industrial scale. The reaction involves an unique electrochemical pathway for coupling carbon dioxide to glycerol. Known chemical pathways...

High-performance, low-cost porous carbons from oil sands petroleum coke

2014/15-2016/17 • $482,245 • PI,CO
Applying a waste-treat-waste strategy, the goal of this project is to develop new technologies that enable large-scale manufacturing of high-performance, affordable porous carbons from a major industry waste - oil sands petroleum coke (OSPC). The OSPC-derived porous carbons will be used by the...

Development of new self-cleaning ORP and pH probes

2016/17 • $25,000 • PI
With $1.5 billion in annual revenue, 23 plants, and 5,600 employees, KIK Custom Products (KIK), based in Concord, Ontario, is a leading manufacturer of pool and spa additives. KIK is seeking a new design solution to automatically control chemical levels in recreational swimming pools, since...

Electrochemical carbon dioxide utilization technology for glycerol carbonate production

2016/17 • $14,945 • PI
This proposal is to conduct an independent market survey to determine the market opportunities for a novel technology developed in my laboratory at the University of Toronto. The innovation which has led the University to apply for US patent protection involves the electrochemical conversion of...

Fundamental studies of drying, combustion and ash properties of biomass and impacts of pulp and paper mill operations

2012/13-2015/16 • $1,876,000 • PI,CO
Pulp and paper mills in Canada require large amounts of high pressure steam and electric power to operate. About two-thirds of the energy required is supplied by burning the concentrated black liquor (spent pulping liquor) in recovery boilers. The remaining is from biomass boilers, known...

Bulk metallic glasses for use in gravity gradiometers

2013/14-2015/16 • $215,900 • PI,CO
No summary

Applied interfacial technology

2011/12-2015/16 • $150,000 • PI
My Discovery Program focuses on engineering more rapid transport of mass and energy across gas-liquid-solid interfacial boundaries in order to improve energy efficiency. For electrochemical systems, the research investigates the solid state ionic and electrical resistance through the metal...

NIM hydrogen energy technology

2014/15 • $25,000 • PI
This project will initiate a new interaction between NIM Energy Inc.and Professor Kirk at the University ofToronto. NIM, a Canadian company formed in 2010, has been granted a patent for its novel catalyzed hydrogengeneration technology involving a magnesium metal alloy and water. The new...

Indirectly fired rotary kiln steam reformation technology

2012/13-2013/14 • $184,584 • PI,CO
Bioresources for energy are increasingly being considered and promoted for non-fossil fuel energy production for both developing and developed nations. Carbon containing wastes such as MSW have an added advantage, since no new land requirement is needed and the problem of disposal is greatly...

A versatile differential calorimetry system for evaluation of phase transition and fluid-solid interfacial thermodynamics in nano-structured solids, surfactants, and polymers

2012/13 • $147,876 • PI,CO
A high precision and flow through differential scanning calorimeter is requested in this proposal. This instrument will probe the heats associated with phase transition of materials and with the interaction of gas phase species on solid surfaces over a wide pressure and temperature range under...

Selenium mobilization

2010/11-2011/12 • $34,284 • PI
This project will investigate and identify the conditions under which tailing ponds and treatment systems will release currently sequestered selenium species. Mining operations use anaerobic conditions in tailings ponds and treatment systems to minimize the release of metals and metalloids to...

Thermal analysis equipment

2010/11 • $148,725 • PI,CO
This application is for a thermal analysis system consisting of a Thermogravimetric Analyzer (TGA/DTA), a Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC) and a Mass Spectrometer (MS) detector.The thermal analysis equipment requested will replace and upgrade a now no-longer operable TGA/DSC apparatus...

Applied interfacial technology

2010/11 • $34,000 • PI
No summary



A process for producing glycerol carbonate can include providing an electrolyte including CO2 and glycerol in an electrochemical reaction unit, and applying an electrochemical potential between an anode and a cathode immersed in the electrolyte to electrochemically transform the CO2 and glycerol into glycerol carbonate. Providing reduced viscosity and/or certain temperature conditions can advantageously enhance production. The CO2 can be supplied via a CO2-loaded stream obtained from an...
Related applications: CA20173033122, WO2017CA50948