Since its inception, nanotechnology has shown considerable promise to tackle some of our most daunting societal challenges. Poor water quality is one such issue, and it can potentially be ameliorated through the application of intelligently designed nanostructures. Some of the most basic attributes of nanomaterials, such as their stability, extremely high surface area to volume ratio, and tunable chemistry for specific capture of analytes and toxins, contribute to their promise in aqueous environmental remediation. [Tyagi 2018, Wu 2019, Mishra 2020] To bridge the gap between the lab scale nature of many of these nanomaterial remediation solutions and realistic economic and engineering considerations, the Dravid group is developing a platform membrane approach (Figure 1). Here multifunctional nanostructures (MNS) are tailored to a specific pollutant and then coated on a porous substrate, such as a sponge or membrane. Thus, an MNS-laden sponge or membrane acts as a carrier to deploy nanostructures for capturing specific analytes or toxins. This strategy makes efficient use of resources, as even a very thin coating layer (5-10 weight %) can transform this cheap, readily available, often discarded sponge into a remediation tool. Moreover, we utilize water-based, scalable processes with earth abundant elements. All our membrane constructions are reusable, further enhancing their promise in real-world applications.
This presentation is available to AMTA Members only.
- Stephanie Ribet
- Northwestern University
- AMTA/AWWA Membrane Technology Conference, West Palm Beach, FL
- AMTA/AWWA Membrane Technology Conference
- Nanocomposite Membranes, OHM sponge