278352 Design and Engineering of Novel Nanomaterials for Energy and Environmental Sustainability

Sunday, October 28, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Camille Petit, Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering and Department of Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY, Teresa Bandosz, Department of Chemistry, The City University of New York, New York, NY and Ah-Hyung Alissa Park, Earth and Environmental Engineering & Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY

Energy, water, and the environment have been identified as part of the “Top Ten Problems Facing Humanity Over the Next 50 Years,” as reported by the National Academy of Sciences. Addressing those challenges is thus clearly part of the mission of the scientific and engineering community today and in the years to come. Innovative and transformative approaches and solutions must be developed and nanotechnology has a critical role to play towards the path to sustainability.

This poster will provide an overview of my research in the synthesis and characterization of nanoscale materials for various energy and environmental technologies. Specifically, my graduate work consisted of the design and physical and chemical tuning of reactive carbon-based adsorbents for the gas separation of small molecules, such as ammonia. The solid adsorbents developed include modified activated carbons and graphite oxide and metal-organic framework/graphene composites. The nanostructure and chemistry of these materials were designed and controlled to provide strong adsorption forces that allowed these adsorbents to greatly surpass the efficiency of conventional physical adsorbents. During the last year, my postodoctoral work focused on the synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of novel liquid-like nano-scale inorganic-organic hybrid materials for CO2 capture. These materials consist of an inorganic core tethered with a polymeric canopy that acts as the solvating medium. CO2 capture by these materials is expected to arise from an enthalpic effect via selection of task-specific groups, as well as an entropic effect via the specific structural arrangement of the polymer chains. This unique feature in concert with the negligible vapor pressure and high thermal stability of these materials make them compelling candidates to replace the conventional amine-based solvents. The research efforts are directed towards the structural characterization of these novel materials as well as the engineering of the canopy (functionalization and structural design) to understand fundamental aspects of CO2 capture by those materials and optimize their capacity. The findings from all these studies have also provided important insight into a wide range of novel nanoscale materials that could be critical for a number of research areas (e.g., gas separation, energy storage, heterogeneous catalysis, sensing).

Building on my expertise in materials science, environmental chemistry, and separation processes, I would like to focus my academic career on the design, synthesis and investigation of nanomaterials as a platform to address critical issues for environmental, water, and energy sustainability.

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