Role in the Centre
Rachel is an Early Career Researcher who specialises in specialising in value-adding low-grade or waste materials, water treatment, and materials synthesis with an interest in re-use of wastes and sustainable technology. In the Centre, Rachel works on new and innovative ways to make advanced and high-performance materials from low-value sources. She has expertise in analytical chemistry and materials synthesis and characterisation, including X-ray techniques, vibrational spectroscopy, thermal analysis, gas sorption analysis, and solution analysis including trace elemental analysis.
Rachel received a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Chemistry from QUT in 2013, and a PhD in Chemistry from QUT in 2018. Her PhD research focused on synthesis of iron oxide adsorbents for water treatment from red mud waste, and resulted in materials which performed better when compared to a similar commercial material. Her current research focuses on development of high purity alumina from a local clay source, where fundamental chemical relationships are used to produce material with >99.99% purity for specialised batter applications.
“High purity alumina synthesised from iron rich clay through a novel and selective hybrid ammonium alum process”, Pepper, R.; Perenlei, G.; Martens, W.; Couperthwaite, S. Hydrometallurgy 2021, 204, 105728.
“A novel akaganeite sorbent synthesised from waste red mud: Application for treatment of arsenate in aqueous solutions”, Pepper, R.; Couperthwaite, S.; Millar, G. J. Environ. Chem. Eng. 2018, 6 (5) 6308.
“Re-use of waste red mud: Production of a functional iron oxide adsorbent for removal of phosphorous”, Pepper, R.; Couperthwaite, S.; Millar, G. J. Water Process Eng. 2018, 25, 138.
“Value adding red mud waste: High performance iron oxide adsorbent for removal of fluoride”, Pepper, R.; Couperthwaite, S.; Millar, G. J. Environ. Chem. Eng. 2017, 5 (3), 2200.
“Comprehensive examination of acid leaching behaviour of mineral phases from red mud: Recovery of Fe, Al, Ti, and Si”, strong>Pepper, R.; Couperthwaite, S.; Millar, G. Minerals Engineering, 2016, 99, 8.