Donald W. Kirk

Donald KirkProfessor
B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc., Ph.D., P.Eng.

Room: WB246 | Tel.: 416-978-7406 | Email:


Excellence in Research Faculty Award, Ont. Min. Environment


Professional Engineers of Ontario
Electrochemical Society
National Association of Corrosion Engineers

Research Interests

Electrochemical and Environmental Engineering

Resource Recovery: There is increasing economic and public pressure on industries to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill.rejected solids and liquids. The technology for treating these complex wastesmaterial streams does not often exist and requires fundamental research to characterize the chemical and physical properties of the wasterejected material before suitable unit operations can be designed. Wastes that have been studied include flyash, steel flue dusts, sulphite scrubbing solids and aqueous phenolic and cyanide effluents, tailings ponds residues and biomaterial residues.

Hydrometallurgical research involves the study of extraction, separation and recovery of metal values from ores, by-products and wastes. The driving force for this work is the increasing emphasis, because of environmental regulations, on waste reduction and recycling. Electroorganic work requires the activation of weakly or nonpolar species through the use of imposed potential fields and relies on the use of specific very high surface area electrodes, typically in a packed bed configuration for uniform potential distribution. Electrochemical oxidations often mirror organic degradation processes in the environment but have the advantage of much more rapid initiation, ease of control and immunity to bacteriocidal action.

With all electrochemical and environmental research, the electrolyte-electrode interface is of fundamental importance, since this is the region of electron transfer. Significant advances to electrochemical processing are being made through the use of chemically modified electrode surfaces, the control of electrode composition and by the design of the surface structure and configuration. Thus the research conducted is multidisciplinary and combines engineering with fundamental science.

Selected Publications

Klass S. and Kirk D. “Understanding the positive effects of low pH and limited aeration on selenate removal from water by elemental iron” Separation & Purification Technology 116, 222-229, 2013

Klass S. and Kirk D. “Advantages of low pH and limited oxygenation in arsenite removal from water by zero-valent iron” Journal of Hazardous Materials Journal of Hazardous Materials 252-253C, 77-82, 2013

Graydon J.W., Panjehshahi M.and Kirk D.W. “Charge Redistribution and Ionic Mobility in the Micropores of Supercapacitors” Journal of Power Sources 245, 822-829, 2014

Ni Q., Kirk, D.W. and Thorpe S.J. “Quantitative Study of Hydroxyl Radical Production on a Ti/SnO2-Sb2O5 Anode” ECS Trans. 53(13): 1-7, 2013

Kirk D., Klass S., Graydon J. “Temperature Effects in Activated Carbon Supercapacitors” ECSTransactions 50(43), 45-51, 2013

Kirk D.W. and Graydon J.W. “Selenium Mobilization from Tailings Ponds” International Water Conference Proceedings 2013 Aug. 2013

Caguiat J, Kirk D. Jia C. “Uncertainties in Characterization of Nanoporous Carbons Using Density Functional Theory-Based Gas Physisorption” Carbon 72 47 –56, 2014

Kirk D.W. and Graydon J.W. “A Low Temperature Molten Salt supercapacitor” ECST 53(31) 27-33, 201