Nanomaterials Integrated Membranes and Photobioreactor System for Water Remediation and Biohydrogen Production

Reference Presenter Authors
Dibakar Bhattacharyya Bhattacharyya, D.(University of Kentucky); D. Bhattacharyya (keynote speaker), H. Wan, L. Ormsbee, A. Aher, T. Hastings, D.Y. Kim, M. Sultan, J. Craven, S. Islam, University of Kentucky, USA Abstract: Nanostructured materials have found wide applications in environmental catalysis to toxic organic sorption and plasmonic properties. Nanostructured catalytic metals play an important role in toxic organic degradation if properly synthesized on robust membrane polymer pore domain. This approach prevents nanoparticles aggregation and release to environment while allowing contaminant degradation in short residence times. The presentation will include two different aspects of the beneficial uses of nanosized particles: (1) in-situ catalytic (Fe, and bimetallic systems) nanomaterial synthesis in functionalized membrane pore domain for water detoxification, (2) organic acid waste conversion to clean hydrogen gas by enhancing near IR light utilization of photobacteria through the use of plasmonic (Au-Silica Core-Shell) nanoparticles. For water detoxification, the integration of metal/metal oxide (iron, or bimetallic) particles in microfiltration type membrane pore domain allow catalytic degradation (for ex, PCBs, TCE, actual site water with mixed chloro-organics)) of water through both reductive and oxidative pathways. Our technology development included functionalization (green chemistry) of membrane pores with pH responsive poly-acrylic acid, and then subsequent ion exchange of metal ions (Fe (II)) followed by reduction allowed in-situ synthesis of non-aggregated, reactive metal nanoparticles in pore domain. The poly(methacrylic acid) (PMAA) was synthesized in the pores of commercial microfiltration PVDF membranes. Particles of 17.1 ± 4.9 nm size were observed throughout the pores of membranes as established by using a focused ion beam instrument. For nanoparticle enhanced photobioreactor area, our hypothesis is that the simultaneous elimination of organic wastes and production of clean fuels will have an immense impact to both society and industrial manufacturing sector. Enhanced understanding of the interface between nanoparticles and photo-responsive bacteria (R. palustris) will further advance knowledge in interactions with biological systems. We used NIR (near IR at about 850 nm) light sources and optically resonant gold-silica core-shell nanoparticles to increase light utilization of the bacteria to convert waste organic acids such as acetic and maleic acids, to hydrogen. The addition of mPEG coated optically resonant gold-silica core-shell nanoparticles in solution further improved hydrogen production from 167 ±18 to 398±108 ?mol H2 at 130 W/m2. The photobacteria-based hydrogen production research was funded by National Science Foundation EAGER Grant 1700091(Dr. Nora Savage, Program Manager), and by Southern Co, Alabama (Dr. Noah Meeks, Project Manager). The nanoparticle catalyst-based was funded by NIEHS-SRP grant P42ES007380.
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