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Research Group

At the heart of any research group is the people involved. It is the bright and motivated students who make quality research possible in the PyRO lab. Currently, there are 4 graduate students (1 MS, 3 PhD) and 9 undergraduates actively contributing to the research being performed in the PyRO lab.


The PyRO (Pyrochemical Research and Operations) Lab consists of 3 laboratory rooms with multiple gloveboxes. One room is a shared laboratory with The Nuclear Engineering Reactor Design (NERD) Research Group, which synergistically works on molten salt reactors. Another room is being developed into the HEET (High-Efficiency Electrochemical Test) facility where hydrodynamic electrodes can be prototyped and tested for rapid, in situ corrosion and property measurements. The last room is the wet lab where bench-top aqueous systems can be used to rapidly test new equipment and samples for various chemical analyses can be prepared.


The PyRO lab contains equipment for handling and heating air- and moisture-sensitive materials, including salts and reactive metals. Additionally, it is equipped with a gas detection system to handle toxic and flammable gases safely. Potentiostats and gas analyzers are available for analyzing the chemistry of pyrochemical operations in real time and within the actual system. For more details about the equipment click below.

Dr. Devin Rappleye

Dr. Devin Rappleye has over 10 years of experience in pyrochemical research and operations. He currently leads the PyRO lab at BYU where there are active projects seeking to investigate new ways to simplify the purification of rare earths, improve the throughput of electrorefining in molten salts, develop hydrodynamic electrodes for molten salts, and advance electrochemical techniques (e.g., thin-cell electrochemistry) and sensors for molten salts. Before joining BYU, Dr. Rappleye worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) for 4 years where he conducted and developed pyrochemical operations. Prior to joining LLNL, his doctoral and post-doctoral research was focused on developing electroanalytical techniques and analysis for complex molten salt mixtures containing multiple analytes. A collection of his published works can be found on his google scholar profile or on the publications page.