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Phillip Koech

Phillip Koech

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352


Currently a scientist at PNNL, Dr. Phillip Koech joined the Laboratory as a post doc in 2007. His research involves designing and synthesizing novel materials for application in OLEDs, designing and synthesizing organic liquids for CO2 capture and synthesizing electrolytes for Li ion batteries.

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, University of Texas at Austin, 2007
  • M.S., Organic Chemistry, Central Michigan University, 2002
  • B.Ed. (Science), Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya, 1999

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Chemical Society
  • National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers
  • Sigma Xi

Awards and Recognitions

  • Welch Summer Research Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin, 2005
  • Dean's Excellence Award, University of Texas at Austin, 2002
  • Graduate Student Research Grant, Central Michigan University, 2001
  • Dean's List Tuition Award, Kenyatta University, 1997

PNNL Patents

PNNL Publications


  • Nguyen MT, Z Wang, KA Rod, MI Childers, CA Fernandez, PK Koech, WD Bennett, RJ Rousseau, and VA Glezakou. 2018. "Atomic origins of self-healing function in cement-polymer composites." ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 10(3):3011-3019.  doi:10.1021/acsami.7b13309


  • Childers MI, MT Nguyen, KA Rod, PK Koech, W Um, J Chun, VA Glezakou, DT Linn, TJ Roosendaal, TW Wietsma, NJ Huerta, B Kutchko, and CA Fernandez. 2017. "Polymer-Cement Composites with Self-Healing Ability for Geothermal and Fossil Energy Applications." Chemistry of Materials 29(11):4708-4718.  doi:10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b00344
  • Heldebrant DJ, PK Koech, RJ Rousseau, VA Glezakou, D Cantu Cantu, D Malhotra, F Zheng, GA Whyatt, CJ Freeman, and MD Bearden. 2017. "Are Water-Lean Solvent Systems Viable for Post-Combustion CO2 Capture?" Energy Procedia 114:756-763.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2017.03.1218
  • Heldebrant DJ, PK Koech, VA Glezakou, RJ Rousseau, D Malhotra, and D Cantu Cantu. 2017. "Water-Lean Solvents for Post-Combustion CO2 Capture: Fundamentals, Uncertainties, Opportunities and Outlook." Chemical Reviews 117(14):9594-9624.  doi:10.1021/acs.chemrev.6b00768
  • Cantu Cantu D, D Malhotra, PK Koech, DJ Heldebrant, F Zheng, CJ Freeman, RJ Rousseau, and VA Glezakou. 2017. "Integrated Solvent Design for CO2 Capture and Viscosity Tuning." Energy Procedia 114:726-734.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2017.03.1215
  • Malhotra D, JP Page, ME Bowden, AJ Karkamkar, DJ Heldebrant, VA Glezakou, RJ Rousseau, and PK Koech. 2017. "Phase-Change Aminopyridines as Carbon Dioxide Capture Solvents." Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 56(26):7534-7540.  doi:10.1021/acs.iecr.7b00874
  • Malhotra D, PK Koech, DJ Heldebrant, D Cantu Cantu, F Zheng, VA Glezakou, and RJ Rousseau. 2017. "Reinventing design principles for developing low-viscosity carbon dioxide-binding organic liquids for flue gas clean up." ChemSusChem 10(3):636-642.  doi:10.1002/cssc.201601622
  • Zheng J, VRS Vemuri, L Estevez, PK Koech, T Varga, DM Camaioni, TA Blake, BP McGrail, and RK Motkuri. 2017. "Pore-Engineered Metal-Organic Frameworks with Excellent Adsorption of Water and Fluorocarbon Refrigerant for Cooling Applications." Journal of the American Chemical Society 139(31):10601-10604.  doi:10.1021/jacs.7b04872


  • Anderson LN, PK Koech, AE Plymale, EV Landorf , A Konopka, F Collart, MS Lipton, MF Romine, and AT Wright. 2016. "Live Cell Discovery of Microbial Vitamin Transport and Enzyme-Cofactor Interactions." ACS Chemical Biology 11(2):345-354.  doi:10.1021/acschembio.5b00918
  • Cantu Cantu D, D Malhotra, PK Koech, DJ Heldebrant, F Zheng, CJ Freeman, RJ Rousseau, and VA Glezakou. 2016. "Structure-Property Reduced Order Model for Viscosity Prediction in Single-Component CO2- Binding Organic Liquids." Green Chemistry 18(22):10.1039/C6GC02203K.  doi:10.1039/c6gc02203k
  • Cantu Cantu D, JT Lee, MS Lee, DJ Heldebrant, PK Koech, CJ Freeman, RJ Rousseau, and VA Glezakou. 2016. "Dynamic Acid/Base Equilibrium in Single Component Switchable Ionic Liquids and Consequences on Viscosity." Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 7(9):1646-1652.  doi:10.1021/acs.jpclett.6b00395
  • Zheng F, DJ Heldebrant, PM Mathias, PK Koech, M Bhakta, CJ Freeman, MD Bearden, and A Zwoster. 2016. "Bench-Scale Testing and Process Performance Projections of CO2 Capture by CO2-Binding Organic Liquids (CO2BOLs) With and Without Polarity-Swing-Assisted Regeneration." Energy and Fuels 30(2):1192-1203.  doi:10.1021/acs.energyfuels.5b02437


  • Koech PK, D Malhotra, DJ Heldebrant, D Cantu Cantu, VA Glezakou, and RJ Rousseau. 2015. "Synthesis and characterization of low viscosity carbon dioxide binding organic liquids for flue gas clean up." In Energy & Fuels Preprints Presented at the 249th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, March 22-26, 2015, Denver, Colorado, vol. 60, no. 1, pp. 628-630.  American Chemical Society, Washington, DC. 
  • Mathias PM, F Zheng, DJ Heldebrant, A Zwoster, GA Whyatt, CJ Freeman, MD Bearden, and PK Koech. 2015. "Measuring the Absorption Rate of CO2 in Nonaqueous CO2-Binding Organic Liquid Solvents with a Wetted-Wall Apparatus." ChemSusChem 8(21):3617-3625.  doi:10.1002/cssc.201500288


  • Heldebrant DJ, VA Glezakou, PK Koech, PM Mathias, D Cantu Cantu, RJ Rousseau, D Malhotra, M Bhakta, MD Bearden, CJ Freeman, and F Zheng. 2014. "Evaluating transformational solvent systems for post-combustion CO2 separations." Energy Procedia 63:8144-8152.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2015.12.336


  • Zhang J, IV Kutnyakov, PK Koech, A Zwoster, CJ Howard, F Zheng, CJ Freeman, and DJ Heldebrant. 2013. "CO2-Binding-Organic-Liquids-Enhanced CO2 Capture using Polarity-Swing-Assisted Regeneration." Energy Procedia 37:285-291.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2013.05.113
  • Zheng J, M Gu, CM Wang, P Zuo, PK Koech, J Zhang, J Liu, and J Xiao. 2013. "Controlled Nucleation and Growth Process of Li2S2/Li2S in Lithium-Sulfur Batteries." Journal of the Electrochemical Society 160(11):A1992-A1996.  doi:10.1149/2.032311jes
  • Huang Q, L Cosimbescu, PK Koech, D Choi, and JP Lemmon. 2013. "Composite Organic Radical - Inorganic Hybrid Cathode for Lithium-ion Batteries." Journal of Power Sources 233(1):69-73.  doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2013.01.076
  • Koech PK, J Zhang, IV Kutnyakov, L Cosimbescu, SJ Lee, ME Bowden, TD Smurthwaite, and DJ Heldebrant. 2013. "Low viscosity alkanolguanidine and alkanolamidine liquids for CO2 capture." RSC Advances 3(2):556 - 572.  doi:10.1039/C2RA22801G
  • Mathias PM, K Afshar, F Zheng, MD Bearden, CJ Freeman, T Andrea, PK Koech, IV Kutnyakov, A Zwoster, AR Smith, PG Jessop, OG Nik, and DJ Heldebrant. 2013. "Improving the Regeneration of CO2-Binding Organic Liquids with a Polarity Change." Energy and Environmental Science 6(7):2233-2242.  doi:10.1039/C3EE41016A
  • Mathias PM, LV Jasperson, D VonNiederhausern, MD Bearden, PK Koech, CJ Freeman, and DJ Heldebrant. 2013. "Assessing Anhydrous Tertiary Alkanolamines for High-Pressure Gas Purifications." Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 52(49):17562-17572.  doi:10.1021/ie4020974
  • Rainbolt JE, PK Koech, E Polikarpov, JS Swensen, L Cosimbescu, AL Von Ruden, L Wang, LS Sapochak, AB Padmaperuma, and DJ Gaspar. 2013. "Synthesis and characterization of p-type conductivity dopant 2-(3-(adamantan-1-yl)propyl)-3,5,6-trifluoro-7,7,8,8-tetracyanoquinodimethane." Journal of Materials Chemistry C 1(9):1876 - 1884.  doi:10.1039/C3TC00068K
  • Swensen JS, LF Wang, E Polikarpov, JE Rainbolt, PK Koech, L Cosimbescu, and AB Padmaperuma. 2013. "Near independence of OLED operating voltage on transport layer thickness." Synthetic Metals 163:29-32.  doi:10.1016/j.synthmet.2012.12.015


  • Xu W, AL Read, PK Koech, D Hu, CM Wang, J Xiao, AB Padmaperuma, GL Graff, J Liu, and J Zhang. 2012. "Factors Affecting the Battery Performance of Anthraquinone-based Organic Cathode Materials." Journal of Materials Chemistry 22(9):4032-4039.  doi:10.1039/c2jm15764k
  • Chauvigne-Hines LM, LN Anderson, HM Weaver, JN Brown, PK Koech, CD Nicora, BA Hofstad, RD Smith, MJ Wilkins, SJ Callister, and AT Wright. 2012. "Suite of Activity-Based Probes for Cellulose-Degrading Enzymes." Journal of the American Chemical Society 134(50):20521-20532.  doi:10.1021/ja309790w
  • Swensen JS, LF Wang, JE Rainbolt, PK Koech, E Polikarpov, DJ Gaspar, and AB Padmaperuma. 2012. "Characterization of solution processed, p-doped films using hole-only devices and organic field-effect transistors." Organic Electronics 13(12):3085-3090.  doi:10.1016/j.orgel.2012.07.045


  • Heldebrant DJ, PK Koech, JE Rainbolt, and F Zheng. 2011. "CO2-Binding Organic Liquids, an Integrated Acid Gas Capture System." Energy Procedia 4:216-223.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2011.01.044
  • Heldebrant DJ, PK Koech, JE Rainbolt, F Zheng, TD Smurthwaite, CJ Freeman, M Oss, and I Leito. 2011. "Performance of Single-Component CO2-Binding Organic Liquids (CO2BOLs) For Post Combustion CO2 Capture." Chemical Engineering Journal 171(3):794-800.  doi:10.1016/j.cej.2011.02.012
  • Koech PK, DJ Heldebrant, SJ Lee, JE Rainbolt, and TD Smurthwaite. 2011. "Synthesis, characterization and application of alkanolamidines and alkanolguanidines in CO(2) capture." In 241st National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, March 27-31, 2011, Anaheim, California, vol. 241, pp. 48-FUEL.  American Chemical Society, Washington, DC. 
  • Koech PK, JE Rainbolt, MD Bearden, F Zheng, and DJ Heldebrant. 2011. "Chemically Selective Gas Sweetening Without Thermal-Swing Regeneration ." Energy & Environmental Science 4(4):1385-1390.  doi:10.1039/c0ee00839g
  • Polikarpov E, PK Koech, L Wang, JS Swensen, L Cosimbescu, JE Rainbolt, AL Von Ruden, DJ Gaspar, and AB Padmaperuma. 2011. "Controlling charge transport in blue organic light-emitting devices by chemical functionalization of host materials." Journal of Photonics for Energy 1:Art. No. 011007.  doi:10.1117/1.3528499
  • Swensen JS, JE Rainbolt, L Wang, PK Koech, E Polikarpov, AB Padmaperuma, and DJ Gaspar. 2011. "Blue phosphorescent organic light-emitting devices utilizing cesium-carbonate-doped 2,4,6-tris(2',4'-difluoro-[1,1'- biphenyl]-4-yl)-1,3,5-triazine." Journal of Photonics for Energy 1:Art. No. 011008 .  doi:10.1117/1.3528003
  • Xiao J, X Wang, XQ Yang, S Xun, G Liu, PK Koech, J Liu, and JP Lemmon. 2011. "Electrochemically Induced High Capacity Displacement Reaction of PEO/MoS2/Graphene Nanocomposites with Lithium." Advanced Functional Materials 21(15):2840-2846.  doi:10.1002/adfm.201002752


  • Heldebrant DJ, PK Koech, and CR Yonker. 2010. "A reversible zwitterionic SO2-binding organic liquid." Energy & Environmental Science 3(1):111-113.  doi:10.1039/B916550A
  • Heldebrant DJ, PK Koech, and CR Yonker. 2010. "A reversible zwitterionic SO2-binding organic liquid." Energy & Environmental Science 3(1):111-113.  doi:10.1039/b916550a
  • Heldebrant DJ, PK Koech, CR Yonker, JE Rainbolt, and F Zheng. 2010. "Reversible Acid Gas Capture Using CO2-Binding Organic Liquids." In Preprints of Symposia - American Chemical Society Fuel Chemistry Division, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 81-82.  American Chemical Society, Washington DC. 
  • Heldebrant DJ, PK Koech, JE Rainbolt, and F Zheng. 2010. "Acid Gas Capture Using CO2-Binding Organic Liquids." In Proceedings of the 2010 Annual Meeting of the AIChE, November 7-12, 2010, Salt Lake City, Utah, p. Paper No. 334d.  American Institute of Chemical Engineers, New York. 
  • Heldebrant DJ, PK Koech, T Ang, C Liang, JE Rainbolt, CR Yonker, and PG Jessop. 2010. "Reversible zwitterionic liquids, the reaction of alkanol guanidines, alkanol amidines, and diamines with CO2 ." Green Chemistry 12(4):713-721.  doi:10.1039/b924790d
  • Polikarpov E, JS Swensen, L Cosimbescu, PK Koech, JE Rainbolt, and AB Padmaperuma. 2010. "Emission Zone Control in Blue Organic Electrophosphorescent Devices Through Chemical Modification of Host Materials ." Applied Physics Letters 96(5):Art. No. 053306.  doi:10.1063/1.3298556
  • Von Ruden AL, L Cosimbescu, E Polikarpov, PK Koech, JS Swensen, L Wang, JT Darsell, and AB Padmaperuma. 2010. "Phosphine Oxide Based Electron Transporting and Hole Blocking Materials for Blue Electrophosphorescent Organic Light Emitting Devices." Chemistry of Materials 22(20):5678-5686.  doi:10.1021/cm1013653
  • Cosimbescu L, PK Koech, E Polikarpov, JS Swensen, AL Von Ruden, JE Rainbolt, and AB Padmaperuma. 2010. "Molecular Engineering of Host Materials for Blue Phosphorescent OLEDs: Past, Present and Future." In SID International Symposium Digest of Technical Papers, Papers from the Annual Symposium, May 23-28, 2010, Seattle, Washington, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 1887-1889.  Society for Information Display, Campbell, CA.  doi:10.1889/1.3500379
  • Koech PK, DJ Heldebrant, JE Rainbolt, F Zheng, and TD Smurthwaite. 2010. "Synthesis, characterization and performance of single-component CO2-binding organic liquids (CO2BOL) for post combustion CO2 capture." In Preprints of Symposia, American Chemical Society. Division of Fuel Chemistry, August 22-26, 2010, Boston, MA, vol. 55, no. 2, pp. 553-554.  American Chemical Society, Washington DC. 
  • Koech PK, AB Padmaperuma, L Wang, JS Swensen, E Polikarpov, JT Darsell, JE Rainbolt, and DJ Gaspar. 2010. "Synthesis and application of 1,3,4,5,7,8-Hexafluorotetracyanonaphtoquinodimethane (F6-TNAP): A Conductivity Dopant for Organic Light-Emitting Devices." Chemistry of Materials 22(13):3926-3932. 
  • Koech PK, E Polikarpov, JE Rainbolt, L Cosimbescu, JS Swensen, AL Von Ruden, and AB Padmaperuma. 2010. "Synthesis and application of pyridine-based ambipolar hosts: control of charge balance in organic light emitting devices (OLEDs) by chemical structure modification ." Organic Letters 12(23):5534-5537.  doi:10.1021/ol102444j
  • Rainbolt JE, PK Koech, CR Yonker, F Zheng, D Main, ML Weaver, JC Linehan, and DJ Heldebrant. 2010. "Anhydrous Tertiary Alkanolamines as Hybrid Chemical and Physical CO2 Capture Reagents with Pressure-Swing Regeneration." Energy & Environmental Science 4(2):480-484.  doi:10.1039/C0EE00506A
  • Xiao J, D Choi, L Cosimbescu, PK Koech, J Liu, and JP Lemmon. 2010. "Exfoliated MoS2 Nanocomposite as an Anode Material for Lithium Ion Batteries." Chemistry of Materials 22(16):4522-4524. 


  • Koech PK, LS Sapochak, JE Rainbolt, L Cosimbescu, E Polikarpov, JS Swensen, LF Wang, AB Padmaperuma, and DJ Gaspar. 2009. "Design of new anchored p-dopants for high power efficiency OLEDs ." In Organic Light Emitting Materials and Devices XIII: Proceedings of the SPIE, vol. 7415, ed. F So and C Adachi, p. Article No. 741505.  SPIE , Bellingham, WA.  doi:10.1117/12.827298
  • Padmaperuma AB, PK Koech, L Cosimbescu, E Polikarpov, JS Swensen, N Chopra, F So, LS Sapochak, and DJ Gaspar. 2009. "Tuning charge balance in PHOLEDs with ambipolar host materials to achieve high efficiency." In Organic Light Emitting Materials and Devices XIII: Proceedings of the SPIE, vol. 7415, ed. F So and C Adachi, p. Paper No. 74150H.  SPIE , Bellingham, WA.  doi:10.1117/12.826905

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