Conference Programme

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CC-06: Symp CC
Wednesday, 21/Jun/2017:
10:30am - 12:00pm

Session Chair: Doo Sung Lee, SungkyunKwan University
Session Chair: Zehui Du, Temasek Laboratories @ NTU, Nanyang Technological University
Location: Rm 301

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10:30am - 11:00am

Health and Safety Implications of Engineered Nanoparticles

Kee Woei NG

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Nanotechnology has brought about tremendous opportunities to improve our lives. However, it has also brought emerging risks. In particular, the use of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) in a myriad of applications has raised concerns over their negative impacts on human and environmental health. Their small sizes allow translocation into biological tissues and interactions with cells and biomolecules never thought possible before. Health concerns are especially real given the increasing amounts of ENPs being produced worldwide and incorporated into increasing numbers of commercial products. Although toxicological studies of fine particles is not new, the term “Nanotoxicology” was introduced only in 2004. Since then, many studies had been carried out to demonstrate the potential toxic effects of various ENPs in both in vitro and in vivo experiments. This presentation will highlight some of the significant developments in the field. Specific studies carried out in our group, related to health risks associated with dermal exposure to ENPs, will also be described. Of note, even though penetration of ENPs across the skin into the human body is not significant, sub-lethal effects of such penetration could still be detected. In addition, the combinatorial effects of dual-ENPs will be highlighted. Taken collectively, it should be noted that developments in nanotechnology need to be carried out in tandem with due considerations of health and safety effects, in order that benefits of ENPs can be reaped in a safe and sustainable way.

11:00am - 11:30am

Affordable Clean Water Using Advanced Materials

Thalappil PRADEEP

Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India

Access to clean water is one of the most important indicators of development. This water has to be affordable to make a meaningful impact to the society. We have been studying the chemistry of nanomaterials with the objective of developing affordable solutions for clean water. Creation of affordable materials for constant release of silver ions in water is one of the most promising ways to provide microbially safe drinking water for all. Combining the capacity of diverse nanocomposites to scavenge toxic species such as arsenic, lead, and other contaminants along with the above capability can result in affordable, all-inclusive drinking water purifiers that can function without electricity. The critical problem in achieving this is the synthesis of stable materials that can release or adsorb ions continuously in the presence of complex species usually present in drinking water that deposit and cause scaling on nanomaterial surfaces. We have shown that such constant release/adsorbing materials can be synthesized in a simple and effective fashion in water itself without the use of electrical power. The nanocomposite exhibits river sand-like properties, such as higher shear strength in loose and wet forms. These materials have been used to develop an affordable water purifier to deliver clean drinking water at Rs. 130/y per family. The ability to prepare nanostructured compositions at near ambient temperature has wide relevance for adsorption-based water purification. We have implemented such solutions already in arsenic affected areas of India. In the next 12 months, we are expected to provide arsenic free water to 1000,000 people. Translation of this science led to the incubation of a company which has its own manufacturing unit now. A healthy mixture of basic science, applications and business in the Indian context is manifested here.

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11:30am - 12:00pm

Soluble Porous Polymers as Novel Adsorbents for CO2 Capture and Natural Gas Upgrading

Zhiping LAI

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia

Polymers have found applications almost everywhere, but seldom been used as adsorbents for gas separation. Over the last few years we developed a number of porous polymers with nitrogen-rich groups and investigated their applications as adsorbents for CO2 capture and natural gas upgrading.(1-3) The nitrogen-rich groups such as triazine and DAT typically favor the interaction with CO2 and CH4 but not nitrogen, which leads to enhanced CO2 and CH4 adsorption capacity and high CO2/N2 and CH4/N2 selectivities that are able to compete with other adsorbents. Polymers typically have much better hydrothermal stability than inorganic materials. The nitrogen-rich groups can further improve their chemical and thermal stabilities. These polymers are typically insoluble in normal solvents except special ones such as DMSO. We demonstrated that this property can provide a big advantage over other solid porous materials. First, the porous polymer adsorbents can be easily prepared through the solution processing method. Second, it can overcome the swelling issue under normal adsorption conditions. Thirdly, it can provide an easy solution for regeneration. This is practically important since the porous structure is often blocked due to fouling or damaged due to attrition.


[1] S. K. Das et al., Chem. Eng. Sci. 145, 21 (2016).

[2] S. K. Das, X. B. Wang, M. M. Ostwal, Z. P. Lai, Sep. Purif. Technol. 170, 68 (2016).

[3] X. B. Wang et al., Adv. Mater. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201605826.

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