Dr. Lindsay J. Hounjet

Image Hounjet, Lindsay James
Research Scientist

Dr. Hounjet serves to advance understanding of: (1) oil spill impacts on aquatic systems, (2) lithium extraction from oilfield brines, (3) energy storage systems based on novel battery technology, and (4) carbon capture processes.

Current research and/or projects


As an undergraduate student, I learned that organic compounds can do some interesting things when exposed to metals. This idea led me to pursue a PhD at the University of Alberta, where I developed a skillset in synthetic and analytical chemistry by creating versatile catalysts for chemical processes. After graduation, my passion for chemical science led me to the University of Toronto, where I discovered a fundamentally new type of acidic material. This breakthrough initiated a collaborative project, wherein I gained management and supervisory experience within a highly productive team, and made substantial contributions to the field of catalysis. While searching to apply my understanding of chemistry to environmental science, I was fortunate to be offered a position as a Research Scientist in the Environmental Impacts team at CanmetENERGY – Devon, Natural Resources Canada. In this role, I first investigated the fate and behaviour of crude oil spills affecting aquatic environments to enable federal policymakers and regulators to make informed decisions affecting the transportation of Canadian oil sands products. I am currently developing technology for direct lithium extraction from oilfield brines, investigating applications of energy storage systems based on emerging sodium-ion batteries, and developing processes for capturing carbon dioxide from flue gas emissions.

Research and/or project statements

Current Research Projects:

  • Evaluating the effects of partial upgrading of oil sands crude on its behaviour in aqueous systems;
  • Investigating photo-oxidative decomposition of oil in water and exploring its catalytic acceleration as an environmental remediation strategy;
  • Developing technology for direct lithium extraction from oilfield brines;
  • Investigating applications of energy storage systems based on emerging sodium-ion batteries;
  • Developing processes for capturing carbon dioxide from flue gas emissions.

Professional activities / interests

  • Supervisor of PhD student research projects.
  • Reviewer of scientific papers for editors of internationally recognized journals, such as Inorganic Chemistry, Organometallics, Chemosphere, Fuel, Energy & Fuels, and New Journal of Chemistry.

Education and awards


Postdoctoral Fellowship in Catalysis Research, University of Toronto, 2013.

Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry, University of Alberta, 2011.

B.Sc. (Hons) Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan, 2006.


Frederick Banting Award for exceptional contribution by a young scientist, CanmetENERGY – Devon, 2015.

Visiting Fellowship in a Government of Canada Laboratory, NSERC, 2014.

Graduate Research Award for innovation, versatility and value to research, Graduate Students’ Association, University of Alberta, 2011.

Doctoral Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship for outstanding academic achievement, Alberta Learning, 2008–2010.


Key publications

  1. Hounjet, L. J.*; Stoyanov, S. R.; Chao, D.; Hristova, E. "Evaluating crude oil distribution tendencies in a multi-phase aquatic system: Effects of oil type, water chemistry, and mineral sediment" Marine Pollution Bulletin 2023, 196, 115607.

  2. Hounjet, L. J.; Xin, Q.*; McDonald, R. "Bitumen processing reduces diluent content of pipeline-transportable products and can mitigate impacts of spills into various water types" Fuel 2023, 331, 125826.

  3. Monaghan, J.; Xin, Q.*; Aplin, R.; Jaeger, A.; Heshka, N. E.; Hounjet, L. J.; Gill, C. G.; Krogh, E. T.* "Aqueous Naphthenic Acids and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in a Meso-Scale Spill Tank Affected by Diluted Bitumen Analyzed Directly by Membrane Introduction Mass Spectrometry" Journal of Hazardous Materials 2022, 440, 129798.

  4. Xin, Q.; Hounjet, L. J.*; Hartwell, A. "Spill behaviours of pipeline-transportable processed bitumen products in fresh water" Fuel 2022, 309, 122040.

  5. Dong, G.; Chen, B.*; Liu, B.; Hounjet, L. J.; Cao, Y.; Stoyanov, S. R.*; Yang, M.; Zhang, B. "Advanced oxidation processes in microreactors for water and wastewater treatment: Development, challenges, and opportunities" Water Research 2022, 211, 118047.

  6. Hounjet, L. J.* "Comparing lithium‐and sodium‐ion batteries for their applicability within energy storage systems" Energy Storage 2022, 4, e309.

  7. Kusinski, M.; Gieleciak, R.*; Hounjet, L. J.; Chen, J. "Factors Affecting the Sensitivity of Hydroxyl Group Content Analysis of Biocrude Products via Phosphitylation and 31P NMR Spectroscopy" Energy & Fuels 2021, 35, 20142–20150.

  8. Monaghan, J.; Richards, L. C.; Vandergrift, G. W.; Hounjet, L. J.*; Stoyanov, S. R.; Gill, C. G.; Krogh, E. T.* "Direct mass spectrometric analysis of naphthenic acids and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in waters impacted by diluted bitumen and conventional crude oilScience of the Total Environment 2021, 765, 144206.

  9. Hounjet, L. J.*; Stoyanov, S. R.; Chao, D. "Distributions of diluted bitumen and conventional crude oil in a range of water types" Chemosphere 2018, 211, 1212–1218.

  10. Hounjet, L. J.; Gieleciak, R.; Dettman, H. D.* "Photooxidation Susceptibility of Diluted Bitumen on WaterProceedings of the Fortieth AMOP Technical Seminar, Environment and Climate Change Canada 2017, 860–884.

  11. Hounjet, L. J.; Dettman, H. D.* "Impacts of Pretreatment on Properties and Behaviour of Diluted Bitumen in WaterProceedings of the Thrity-Ninth AMOP Technical Seminar, Environment and Climate Change Canada 2016, 472–493.

  12. Pérez, M.; Mahdi, T.; Hounjet, L. J.; Stephan, D. W.* "Electrophilic Phosphonium Ions Catalyze Hydroarylation and Hydrosulfuration of OlefinsChemical Communications 2015, 51, 11301–11304.

  13. Hounjet, L. J.; Stephan, D. W.* "Hydrogenation by Frustrated Lewis Pairs: Main Group Alternatives to Transition Metal Catalysts?" Organic Process Research & Development 201418, 385–391.

  14. Caputo, C. B.; Hounjet, L. J.; Dobrovetsky, R.; Stephan, D. W.* "Lewis Acidity of Organofluorophosphonium Salts: Hydrodefluorination by a Saturated AcceptorScience 2013, 341, 1374–1377.

  15. Hounjet, L. J.; Bannwarth, C.; Garon, C. N.; Caputo, C. B.; Grimme, S.; Stephan, D. W.* "Combinations of Ethers and B(C6F5)3 Function as Hydrogenation CatalystsAngewandte Chemie, International Edition 2013, 52, 7492–7495.

  16. Hounjet, L. J.; Caputo, C. B.; Stephan, D. W.* "The Lewis Acidity of Fluorophosphonium Salts: Access to Mixed Valent Phosphorus(III)/(V) SpeciesDalton Transactions 2013, 42, 2629–2635.

  17. Hounjet, L. J.; Caputo, C. B.; Stephan, D. W.* "Phosphorus as a Lewis Acid: CO2 Sequestration with AmidophosphoranesAngewandte Chemie, International Edition 2012, 51, 4714–4717.

  18. Hounjet, L. J.; Ferguson, M. J.; Cowie, M.* "Phosphine-Amido Complexes of Ruthenium and Mechanistic Implications for Ketone Transfer Hydrogenation CatalysisOrganometallics 2011, 30, 4108–4114.
  19. Hounjet, L. J.; McDonald, R.; Ferguson, M. J.; Cowie, M.* "Comparison of Structure and Reactivity of Phosphine-Amido and Hemilabile Phosphine-Amine Chelates of RhodiumInorganic Chemistry 2011, 50, 5361–5378.

  20. Hounjet, L. J.; Bierenstiel, M.; Ferguson, M. J.; McDonald, R.; Cowie, M.* "Coordinatively Diverse ortho-Phosphinoaniline Complexes of Ruthenium and Isolation of a Putative Intermediate in Ketone Transfer Hydrogenation CatalysisInorganic Chemistry 201049, 4288–4300.