Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Nanogrid, activated by sunlight, breaks down pollutants in water, leaving biodegradable compounds: Innovation Corps project explores how to bring technology to the field

Transmission electron microscopy image and related electron diffraction pattern of the nanogrids structures as manifested at the nanoparticle level. Each nanoparticle is about 20nm and it is connected to the next one forming "links" in a chain-like configuration.

Credit: Perena Gouma, CNSD, SUNY Stony Brook
Transmission electron microscopy image and related electron diffraction pattern of the nanogrids structures as manifested at the nanoparticle level. Each nanoparticle is about 20nm and it is connected to the next one forming "links" in a chain-like configuration.

Credit: Perena Gouma, CNSD, SUNY Stony Brook

Abstract:
Oil spills do untold damage to the environment--to the waters they pollute and to marine and other wildlife. The Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, for example, the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry, flowed unabated for three months.

Nanogrid, activated by sunlight, breaks down pollutants in water, leaving biodegradable compounds: Innovation Corps project explores how to bring technology to the field

Arlington, VA | Posted on November 9th, 2013

Typically, such oil spills are extraordinarily difficult to clean up.

Soon, however, the process may become infinitely easier and ecologically friendly, the result of a new invention by a National Science Foundation- (NSF) supported scientist.

Pelagia-Irene (Perena) Gouma, a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook, created a novel "nanogrid," a large net consisting of metal grids made of a copper tungsten oxide, that, when activated by sunlight, can break down oil from a spill, leaving only biodegradable compounds behind.

"We have made a new catalyst that can break down hydrocarbons in water, and it does not contaminate the water," says Gouma, who also directs SUNY's Center for Nanomaterials and Sensor Development. "It utilizes the whole solar spectrum and can work in water for a long time, which no existing photocatalyst can do now. Ours is a unique technology. When you shine light on these grids, they begin to work and can be used over and over again.

"Something like this would work fine for any oil spill," Gouma adds. "Any ship can carry them, so if they have even a small amount of spill, they can take care of it."

Initially, the grids, which resemble non-woven mats of miniaturized ceramic fishing nets, probably will be used for oil spills, although they potentially could prove valuable in other applications, such as cleaning contaminated water produced by "fracking," the process of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from shale, and as well as from other industrial processes.

"Fracking is a reality," she says. "It is happening. If the science and engineering we produce in the lab can help alleviate environmental problems, we will be happy about that."

Because they work well both in water and air, they also could be a chemical-free, possibly even water-free, method of cleaning clothes in the future. "The dry cleaning process that we now use involves a lot of contaminants that have to be remediated and treated, such as benzene," she says. "This could be a dry cleaning substitute that would be more environmentally friendly than current dry cleaning approaches."

Moreover, "imagine you lay this over your clothes, and expose them to light. You won't need a washing machine, or chemicals, or even water," she adds.

The photocatalytic nanogrids™ invented in her lab are made by a unique self-assembly process that occurs "during the nanomanufacturing on non-woven nanofibrous mats deposited on metal meshes," according to Gouma. "Upon heating, metal clusters diffuse inside polymeric nanofibers, then turn into single crystal nanowires, then oxidize to form metal oxide--ceramic--nanoparticles that are interconnected, like links in a chain," she says.

These form an unusual and "robust third architecture that allows for the highest surface area, providing maximum exposure to the contaminant to be remediated, while the nanoscale particle sizes enable fast catalytic action," she adds. "The result is a self-supported water remediation targeted photocatalytic technology that has no precedent."

In the fall of 2011, Gouma was the first scientist to receive a $50,000 NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) award, which supports a set of activities and programs that prepare scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the laboratory into the commercial world.

Such results may be translated through I-Corps into technologies with near-term benefits for the economy and society. It is a public-private partnership program that teaches grantees to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research, and offers entrepreneurship training to faculty and student participants.

"The I-Corps program was very useful for the students," she says. "It got them involved, and got them to realize that there is a practical application to what they do. It was extremely useful for them to see how something developed in the lab could be used in the field, and that you actually can start a business from something started in the lab."

She and her team are in the process of creating a startup business--they have two patents pending on the process--with the hope of scaling up production and carrying out pilot studies.

"We want to demonstrate feasibility in the real world, and then produce them in large quantities," she says. "We have proof of principle that our technology can be useful. Our technique works in the lab. We now need to make sure that it works in the field."
-- Marlene Cimons, National Science Foundation

####

About National Science Foundation (NSF)
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2012, its budget was $7.0 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

For more information, please click here

Copyright © National Science Foundation (NSF)

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Dr. Perena Gouma's Center for Nanomaterials and Sensor Development:

Related News Press

News and information

Harris & Harris Group to Host Conference Call on Second-Quarter 2014 Financial Results on August 15, 2014 July 23rd, 2014

UCF Nanotech Spinout Developing Revolutionary Battery Technology: Power the Next Generation of Electronics with Carbon July 23rd, 2014

Deadline Announced for Registration in 7th Int'l Nanotechnology Festival in Iran July 23rd, 2014

A Crystal Wedding in the Nanocosmos July 23rd, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

NNCO Announces an Interactive Webinar: Progress Review on the Coordinated Implementation of the National Nanotechnology Initiative 2011 Environmental, Health, and Safety Research Strategy July 23rd, 2014

Nano-sized Chip "Sniffs Out" Explosives Far Better than Trained Dogs: TAU researcher's groundbreaking sensor detects miniscule concentrations of hazardous materials in the air July 23rd, 2014

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

Discoveries

UCF Nanotech Spinout Developing Revolutionary Battery Technology: Power the Next Generation of Electronics with Carbon July 23rd, 2014

A Crystal Wedding in the Nanocosmos July 23rd, 2014

Nano-sized Chip "Sniffs Out" Explosives Far Better than Trained Dogs: TAU researcher's groundbreaking sensor detects miniscule concentrations of hazardous materials in the air July 23rd, 2014

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

Announcements

Harris & Harris Group to Host Conference Call on Second-Quarter 2014 Financial Results on August 15, 2014 July 23rd, 2014

UCF Nanotech Spinout Developing Revolutionary Battery Technology: Power the Next Generation of Electronics with Carbon July 23rd, 2014

Deadline Announced for Registration in 7th Int'l Nanotechnology Festival in Iran July 23rd, 2014

A Crystal Wedding in the Nanocosmos July 23rd, 2014

Environment

Researchers Use Various Zinc Oxide Nanostructures to Boost Efficiency of Water Purification Process July 13th, 2014

Using Sand to Improve Battery Performance: Researchers develop low cost, environmentally friendly way to produce sand-based lithium ion batteries that outperform standard by three times July 8th, 2014

Development of an interactive tool for the implementation of environmental legislation for nanoparticles manufacturers July 4th, 2014

Up in Flames: Evidence Confirms Combustion Theory: Berkeley Lab and University of Hawaii research outlines the story of soot, with implications for cleaner-burning fuels July 1st, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE