287151 Sustainable Nanocomposites towards Electrochemical Energy Storage and Environmental Remediation

Sunday, October 28, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Jiahua Zhu, Integrated Composites Laboratory (ICL), Dan F Smith Department of Chemical Engineering, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX

Nanocomposites offer tremendous opportunities in the advancement of technologies. Facing the widely concerned challenges in energy shortage and storage as well as the environmental pollution control, sustainable nanocomposites towards electrochemical storage and environmental remediation have been developed to overcome the limited performance of current materials. Targeting a high capacitance composite material, an interfacial polymerization method has been developed to fabricate an integrated 3-dimensional (3D) structure comprising 2D graphite oxide (GO) sheet and 1D polyaniline nanofibers. This facile method can be used as a general method to synthesize similar hybrid structures which provides large surface area, high capacitance and satisfactory energy density. Hybrid materials synthesized from this method exhibits much higher energy density and power density than most of the carbon based composite materials. These findings open up a new window of GO-based composites for the capacitor applications with high energy and power densities.

Targeting the environmental remediation of nanocomposites, a comprehensive and sustainable waste-free coupled process of polymer nanocomposite (PNC) recycling is introduced to synthesize magnetic carbon nanocomposites (MCNCs) and to produce useful chemical radicals simultaneously. The embedded NPs serve as catalysts for the waste polymer decomposition. At the same time, the coke produced on the NP surface (poison the catalyst in conventional process) during heating serves as a carbon source for the in situ formation of a compact carbon shell structure and the volatile phase could be collected as a useful chemical resource or potential liquid fuel upon condensation. The MCNCs demonstrate an extremely fast Cr(VI) removal from the wastewater with an almost complete removal of Cr(VI) with extremely fast adsorption rate (< 10 min, conventional adsorbent takes hours even days). The large saturation magnetization of these novel magnetic carbon nanocomposites allows fast recycling of both the adsorbents and the adsorbed Cr(VI) from liquid suspension in a more energetically and economically sustainable way by simply applying a permanent magnet. The significantly reduced treatment time required to remove the Cr(VI) makes these MCNCs promising for efficient removal of the heavy metals from the wastewater.


1.    J. Zhu, S. Wei, H. Gu, R. Sowjanya, Q. Wang, Z. Luo, N. Haldolaarachchige, D. Young, Z. Guo, One-pot Synthesis of Magnetic Graphene Nanocomposites Decorated with Core@Double-shell Nanoparticles for Fast Chromium Removal, Environmental Science & Technology, 46 (2), 977-985 (2012)

2.    J. Zhu, Z. Luo, S. Wu, N. Haldolarachchige, J. He, D. P. Young, S. Wei and Z. Guo, Magnetic Graphene Nanocomposites: Electron Conduction, Giant Magnetoresistance and Tunable Negative Permittivity, Journal of Materials Chemistry, 22, 835-844 (2012).

3.    J. Zhu, S. Wei, J. Ryu and Z. Guo, Strain Sensing Elastomer/Carbon Nanofibers “Metacomposites”, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 115(27), 13215-13222 (2011)

4.    J. Zhu, S. Wei, N. Haldolaarachchige, D. P. Young and Z. Guo, Electromagnetic Field Shielding Polyurethane Nanocomposites Reinforced with Core-Shell Fe-Silica Nanoparticles, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 115 (31), 15304-15310 (2011)

5.    J. Zhu, S. Wei, Y. Li, L. Sun, N. Haldolaarachchige, D. Young, C. Southworth, A. Khasanov, Z. Luo and Z. Guo, Surfactant-free Synthesized Magnetic Polypropylene Nanocomposites: Rheological, Electrical, Magnetic and Thermal Properties, Macromolecules, 44(11), 4382-4391 (2011)

6.    J. Zhu, S. Wei, Y. Li, S. Pallavkar, H. Lin, N. Haldolaarachchige, Z. Luo, D. P. Young and Z. Guo, Comprehensive and Sustainable Recycling of Polymer Nanocomposites, Journal of Materials Chemistry, 21, 16239-16246 (2011)

7.    J. Zhu, S. Wei, L. Zhang, Y. Mao, J. Ryu, A. B. Karki, D. P. Young and Z. Guo, Polyaniline-Tungsten Oxide Metacomposites with Tunable Electronic Properties, Journal of Materials Chemistry, 21, 342-348 (2011).

8.    J. Zhu, S. Wei, M. J. Alexander, T. D. Dang, T. C. Ho and Z. Guo, Enhanced Electrical Switching and Electrochromic Properties of Poly(p-phenylenebenzobisthiazole) Thin Films Embedded with Nano-WO3, Advanced Functional Materials, 18, 3076-3084 (2010).

9.    J. Zhu, S. Wei, J. Ryu, M. Budhathoki, G. Liang and Z. Guo, In-Situ Stabilized Carbon Nanofibers (CNFs) Reinforced Epoxy Nanocomposites, Journal of Materials Chemistry, 20, 4937-4948 (2010).

10.  J. Zhu; S. Wei; M. J. Alexander; D. Cocke; T. C. Ho; Z. Guo, Electrical Conductivity Manipulation and Switching Phenomena of Poly(p-phenylenebenzobisthiazole) Thin Film by Doping Process, Journal of Materials Chemistry, 20, 568-574 (2010).

11.  Nanostructured Ceramic Oxides: Preparation, Property Analysis and ApplicationsEncyclopedia of Semiconductor Nanotechnology, Edited by Ahmad Umar, in press (2010).

12.  S. Wei, J. Zhu, P. Mavinakuli, Z. Guo, Chapter 4:Magnetic Polymer Nanocomposites: Fabrication, Processing, Property analysis and Applications” Multifunctional Polymer Nanocomposites, CRC Press, Edited by Jinsong Leng and Alan K. T. Lau, (2010).


Chinese Government Award For Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad, The China Scholarship Council, Mar, 2012. 

3rd Research Excellence Award in the 2011 Chinese-American Chemical Society Southwest Chapter (CACS-SW) Poster Competition, Multifunctional Magnetic Graphene Nanocomposites for Environmental Remediation”, Houston, TX, Oct 29, 2011.

1st award for the poster “Effective Adsorption of Low Concentrated Arsenic(III) by Magnetic Nanoparticle Decorated Graphene Nanocomposite” presented in the AIChE Annual Conference, Environmental Division (ENV), Minneapolis, MN, Oct 16-21, 2011.

3rd award for the poster “Multifunctional Magnetic Graphene Nanocomposites for Environmental Remediation” presented in the AIChE Annual Conference, Materials Engineering & Sciences Division (MESD), Minneapolis, MN, Oct 16-21, 2011.

2nd award for the poster “Polypropylene Nanocomposites Reinforced with Different Carbon NanoStructures” presented in the International Polyolefins Conference, Houston, TX, Feb 27-Mar 2, 2011.

NSF Travel Scholarship, 2011 NSF-CMMI Research and Innovation Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, January 4-7, 2011.

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