Dr Theo Rodopoulos develops new low-energy metal production processes.

Dr Theo Rodopoulos develops new low-energy metal production processes.

Dr Theo Rodopoulos: developing new electrochemical processing technologies

Dr Rodopoulos leads research in electrochemical processing and waste treatment using non-aqueous electrochemistry.

  • 26 November 2008 | Updated 7 December 2012

Current activities

Dr Rodopoulos is the Research Team Leader of the Electrochemistry and Exotic Solvents Team of CSIRO Process Science and Engineering. He leads a team which conducts fundamental and applied studies in molten salts and other non-aqueous media with the aim of exploiting their unique properties to develop new electrochemical technologies and ones which are more environmentally benign or more energy efficient than current processes.

Currently he leads a project aimed at developing new materials which enable the low temperature production of metals such as aluminium. He also leads Future Manufacturing Flagship projects investigating the use of ionic liquids (low temperature molten salts) in metals recycling from electronic waste (e-waste) and also for the application of anti-corrosion coatings. Dr Rodopoulos is involved in a number of collaborations aimed at developing new electrochemical approaches to transform carbon dioxide into useful materials, such as fuels and/or chemicals.

Dr Rodopoulos's current research interests include:

  • design and synthesis of new ionic liquid materials 
  • electrochemistry in molten salt baths for metal production
  • the science underpinning aluminium electrodeposition 
  • understanding the complex metal speciation in ionic liquids 
  • electrochemical process development
  • anti-corrosion coatings
  • generating value from waste.

Dr Rodopoulos leads a group with expertise in:

  • chemical design and synthesis
  • physicochemical property measurements
  • materials characterisation
  • aqueous and non-aqueous electrochemistry 
  • metal electrodeposition
  • synchrotron and neutron-based spectroscopic and diffraction techniques.

Background

From 1994 to 1996, Dr Rodopoulos was a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) International Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, where he studied the synthesis and metal complexation of macrocyclic compounds.

Dr Rodopoulos joined CSIRO in 1997 as a chemist in the Flotation Group where he worked on a number of projects to improve the beneficiation (pre-treatments to improve yield) of ores for various Australian and overseas mining companies. His particular interest in flotation research was the design and synthesis of novel flotation collectors for imparting improved mineral selectivity during the processing of sulphide ores.

He then joined the Light Metals Program where his research focused on developing alternative feedstocks for aluminium production and the development of novel production technologies for the light metals titanium and aluminium.

Currently he resides in the Solution Processing Program and his interests are focused on exploiting the chemistry and properties of ionic liquids for applications such as metal production and anti-corrosion coatings, in particular aluminium, metals recycling and carbon dioxide transformation.

Academic qualifications

Dr Rodopoulos graduated from the University of Adelaide in 1993 with a Doctor of Philosophy in chemistry, having completed a Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours.