Three-Dimensional Nanohybrid Heterostructures for Heavy Metal Removal from Drinking Water

Project Summary

Research Advisor:  Nirupam Aich (Environmental Engineering)

Project Theme:  Pollutant Source Control

Two or more nanomaterials are conjugated to form multifunctional nanohybrids (NHs) to allow multi-functionalities or enhanced properties. Next generation nano-enabled water treatment technologies will rely on structural and electromagnetic property alterations of the multicomponent nanohybrid heterostructures for efficiently removing heavy metals (e.g., lead, mercury, cadmium, etc.). This study will involve synthesis, characterization, and application of such a three-dimensional heterogeneous structure for based on carbon-metallic nanomaterials for low-concentrations of heavy metal revoval from drinking water systems. REU students will employ wet-chemistry based techniques for conjugation of two or more nano-scale materials. Furthermore, external stimulus (e.g., electromagnetic radiation) will be provided for improving the catalytic properties of the prepared NHs. Physicochemical properties of the NHs will be evaluated using nanoscale characterization techniques e.g., transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), zeta-potential measurement, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area analysis, X-ray diffraction (XRD) spectroscopy, UV-Visible spectroscopy, etc.  Efficiencies of removing lead from drinking water using this novel heterostructures will be determined. 

Primary Activities:  Wet-chemistry; Materials Characterization; Data Analyses

Skills/Courses Recommended:  Basic knowledge in general chemistry; Introduction to environmental engineering/chemistry

Anticipated Conference Participation:  Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization; American Chemical Society