Devinda Pankaja Wijewardena

Many thanks to Devinda for spending his summer with us synthesizing Bispyridine compounds.

Synthesis of Linear Bispyridines and Bispyridinium Compounds for Energy Storage Applications; Devinda Wijewardena and Dr.  Thomas F. Guarr

Redox flow batteries store energy in electrolyte solutions that flow through the battery during charge and discharge cycles.  They offer a very inexpensive and scalable energy storage capability that can be utilized in grid applications.  Phenylene-bridged linear bispyridinium compounds possess useful electrochemical properties that could be used in redox flow batteries.  Current redox flow batteries use electrolytes with compounds containing elements such as vanadium and bromine, which are both expensive and toxic.  However, phenylene-bridged linear bispyridinium compounds could be synthesized organically through effective and efficient synthetic routes.  One synthetic route involves a Suzuki-Miyaura Coupling using 1,4-phenylenebisboronic acid and 4-bromo-2,6-dimethylpyridine as starting materials and a palladium catalyst.  Another route uses a Hantzsch pyridine synthesis and requires multiple steps.  However, it is more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than the Suzuki-Miyaura coupling.  The bispyridine thus synthesized via either route was then alkylated to form the bispyridinium compound and characterized using LCMS, NMR, and cyclic voltammetry.

6715 Devinda Wijewardena poster

Devinda is a Chemical Engineering student at MSU from Sri Lanka.  He has returned to the other side of the earth for a visit before returning to school and we wish him another great year at MSU.