Charles Q. Jia

charles jiaProfessor
B.Eng., M.Eng. (Chongqing), Ph.D. (McMaster), P.Eng.

Principal Investigator, Green Technology Laboratory

Room: WB326 | Tel.: 416-946-3097 | Fax: 416-978-8605 | Email:



Professional Engineers of Ontario
Association of Environment Engineering Professors (AEEP)
Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (CSChE)
Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM)

Research in Green Technology Laboratory

In nature, the transport of water and nutrients in lignocellulosic biomass occurs through a series of highly ordered structures, such as vessels, tracheids and rays in a living tree. Under carefully controlled conditions, processes like pyrolysis can transform biomass to biochar – a carbon-rich solid material with structures that resemble its precursor. A recent focus of our lab is on the potential of the structures in biochar to serve as templates for the creation of next-generation advanced materials. In particular, we explore the opportunities that biochar may offer in creating cost-effective nanoporous carbon and composites for capacitive technologies that improve the use of renewable energy and environment quality.

Nanoporous carbon materials are a diverse family of carbons that are rich in micropores (< 2nm) and include carbide-derived carbon, carbon nanotubes (CNTs), integrated graphene sheets and activated carbon (e.g. biochar). With a hierarchical pore structure, nano-sized pores and a tunable surface chemistry, biochar is a natural choice for many modern technologies, particularly capacitive technologies such as capacitive deionization (CDI), energy harvesting, capacitive actuation, and electrochemical double-layer capacitors (aka supercapacitors). Our research focuses on exploring and understanding the structure-property-performance relationships of biochar, which enables us to create next generation high-performance materials for these modern technologies.

In addition to biochar-derived nanoporous carbon, new materials are also created from industrial wastes in our lab. For example, petroleum coke from oil-sands operation is used to create nanoporous materials for water purification and energy storage. Moreover, we also study how chemicals affect the environment, for example, aerosols’ effects on the climate. Through creating new materials, and technologies, we contribute to sustainability – enhanced utilization of renewable energy, maximized value of natural resources and minimized impact on the environment.

Selected Publications

Yanchus, D.A., Kirk, D.W., Jia, C.Q. “Investigating the Effects of Biochar Electrode Macrostructure and Dimension on Electrical Double-Layer Capacitor Performance” Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 165 (2), A305-A313, 2018

Gabhi, R.S., Kirk, D.W., Jia, C.Q.“Preliminary investigation of electrical conductivity of monolithic biochar, Carbon, 116, 435-442, 2017

Jocelyn E. Zuliani, Tomohiro Miyata, Teruyasu Mizoguchi, Jing Feng, Donald W. Kirk, Charles Q. Jia “Characterization of vanadium in oil sands fluid petroleum coke using electron microscopy” FUEL, Vol.178, 124-128, 2016

Scott Y. Wei, Charles Q. Jia “Intrinsic Wettability of Graphitic Carbons” Carbon, 87, 10-17, 2015

Azadeh Namazi, D. Grant Allen, Charles Q. Jia “Microwave-assisted Pyrolysis and Activation of Pulp Mill Sludge” Biomass and Bioenergy, 73, 217-224, 2015.

Scott Y. Wei, Danqing Yu, Shitang Tong, Charles Q. Jia “Effects of H2SO4 and O2 on Hg Uptake Capacity and Reversibility of Sulfur-Impregnated Activated Carbon under Dynamic Conditions” Environmental Science & Technology, 49(3), 1706-1712, 2015

Jocelyn E. Zuliani, Donald W. Kirk, Charles Q. Jia, Shitang Tong “Activated oil sands fluid coke for electrical double-layer capacitors” Journal of Power Sources, 271, 326-333, 2014

Johnathon N. Caguiat, Donald W. Kirk, Charles Q. Jia “Uncertainties in characterization of nanoporous carbons using density functional theory-based gas physisorption” Carbon, 72, 47-56, 2014

Huang, L., Gong, S. L., Gordon, M., Liggio, J., Staebler, R. M., Stroud, C. A., Lu, G., Mihele, C., Brook, J. R., and Jia, C. Q. “Aerosol-CFD modelling of ultrafine and black carbon particle emission, dilution, and growth near roadways” Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 12631-12648, 2014

Eric A Morris, Donald W Kirk, Charles Q Jia, Kazuki Morita “Roles of Sulfuric Acid in Elemental Mercury Removal by Activated Carbon and Sulfur-Impregnated Activated Carbon” Environmental Science and Technology, 46 (14), 7905-7912, 2012

Mingjiang Yuan, Shitang Tong, Shaoqi Zhao, Charles Q. Jia “Adsorption of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from water using petroleum coke-derived porous carbon” Journal of Hazardous Materials, 181 (1-3), 1115-1120, 2010.