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Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Wen Zhou


The challenges facing scientists and engineers today involve complex, interconnected systems and the best approach for meeting these challenges is with closely integrated experimental and theoretical studies. Important biochemical processes such as microbial biofilm growth and electrochemical processes such as in fuel cells include strongly coupled species transport and reactions, which are suitable for studying by computational modeling. Microbial biofilm growth involves coupled nutrient transport and cell birth and death, while fuel cells consider fuel delivery, charge transport, and electrochemical reactions. This thesis addresses the need for theoretical modeling research specifically related to (1) biofilm growth/inhibition of the harmful Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria and (2) cogeneration of electricity and chemicals in anion-exchange membrane direct glycerol fuel cells. These applications were simulated through advanced systems modeling in COMSOL Multiphysics® software package and validated by comparison to experimental results. These works may have significant impact on the academic world through their contribution to health, medical, renewable energy and chemical fields.