Manufactured Nanomaterials in the Environment

The plethora of consumer products containing novel materials have raised concerns over the release of synthetic nanomaterials into the natural environment.  While many studies have examined the potential ecotoxicity of as-manufactured nanomaterials, we know less about how synthetic materials transform as a result of environmental exposure. Our work in this area aims to understand the changes in surface chemistry of a group of commercially important nanostructured materials (e.g., TiO2 and other metal oxide nanoparticles) in aquatic systems in order to assess how environmental contact shapes the reactivity of these manmade nanomaterials. 

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Selective Ion Removal using Chemically Enhanced Electrodialysis

Sustainable development of unconventional oil and gas production relies on efficient use of water resources and safe disposal of effluent from energy production operations. One strategy to attain these goals is to effectively remove a subset of contaminants amid high levels of benign background constituents in sub-quality (brackish) water resources and in wastewater produced during unconventional energy production. This treatment need of the energy industry is substantially different from conventional desalination for domestic use. To this end, we are collaborating with researcher from Chemistry to evaluate the use of reusable and scalable chemicals in electrodialysis process for selective removal of problematic ions (e.g., Ba) from non-potable water source and flowback water to enable their (re)use as alternative feedwater for energy production. 

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