Design and Application of nanomaterials for Water Treatment

       Nanomaterials are typically defined as materials smaller than 100 nm in at least one dimension. At this scale, materials often possess novel size-dependent properties different from their large counterparts, many of which have been explored for applications in water and wastewater treatment. Some of these applications utilize the smoothly scalable size-dependent properties of nanomaterials which relate to the high specific surface area, such as fast dissolution, high reactivity, and strong sorption. Combined with the major environmental problems to be solved in the strategy of sustainable development in the national environmental, based on mesoporous materials synthesis technology, electrostatic spinning technology, metal-organic framework crystal materials preparation technology, Professor Li’s group prepared a series of novel environmental functional materials in recent years. The relevant research results achieved efficient purification of dyes, heavy metals and other pollutants in wastewater.


       1. Preparation of functionalized nano fiber mediated macroporous materials with high specific surface area and organic functional groups (- NH2, -SH and so on) for heavy metal ions and dyes adsorption. Thus, it can be used for adsorption and separation, water purification etc.


Figure 1. (a) mechanism of synthesis functional mesoporous materials (b) preparation of electrospinning

fiber porous adsorption materials.


       2. Fabrication of nano porous absorbents based on metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). The prepared nano porous adsorbents show high adsorption efficiency for heavy metal ions and organic pollutants. For example, a newly developed nano functional material ZIF-8 has been used to adsorb trace heavy metals arsenic (As) in water, the adsorption quantity under low concentration (10μg/L) reached the peak of reported literature 76.5 mg/g.

Figure 2. The adsorption mechanism of ZIF-8 on arsenic


       3. Fabrication of photonic MOF films through stepwise deposition on colloid crystal substrate. The prepared material present specific optical signals and could be employed for the investigation of the host-guest chemistry of MOFs. Based on the adjustable surface properties of the colloid crystals array and virtually unlimited tunability of MOFs, it is worth expecting for the design of more functional MOF-based materials in a wide range of catalysis, and sensors application.

Figure 3. Schematic illustration of opal (a) and inverse opal (b) structure of metal organic framework compound films