Special Issue "Nanocomposites for Environmental and Energy Applications"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Ahmad Fauzi Ismail

Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre, Faculty of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nanomaterial; nanocomposites; membranes; polymeric nanocomposites; ceramic membranes; desalination; wastewater treatment; gas separation; fuel cell; hemodialysis
Co-Guest Editor
Dr. Goh Pei Sean

Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre, Faculty of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nanomaterial and nanocomposite synthesis; surface modification; polymeric nanocomposite; membranes; desalination and wastewater treatment; energy production

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Environmental and energy issues are the two major problems that our world is facing today. The establishment of sustainable and innovative solutions are needed to address the emerging problems. Functional nanocomposites are emerging materials that have become important due to their astonishing chemical and physical properties. The synergy effects rendered by a wide spectrum of nanomaterials and host materials have shown unlimited potential and advantages in many practical applications. Specifically, various nanocomposites are known to serve as sustainable solutions to curb global issues that are related to environmental pollution and energy shortage. This Special Issue of Nanomaterials, “Nanocomposites for Environmental and Energy Applications”, aims at collecting a compilation of articles, which cover research articles, reviews and communications, with topics areas focused on the development of the state-of-the-art nanocomposites to tackle environment and energy related issues.

Prof. Ahmad Fauzi Ismail
Dr. Goh Pei Sean
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nanomaterials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • nanomaterials
  • nanocomposites
  • synthesis
  • functionalization
  • environment
  • energy
  • wastewater
  • desalination
  • fuel cell

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Mesopore-Rich Activated Carbons for Electrical Double-Layer Capacitors by Optimal Activation Condition
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(4), 608; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9040608
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 12 April 2019
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Abstract
In this study, activated polymer-based hard carbon using steam activation (APHS) with mesopore-rich pore structures were prepared for application as electrodes in electrical double-layer capacitors (EDLC). The surface morphologies and structural characteristics of APHS were observed using scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction [...] Read more.
In this study, activated polymer-based hard carbon using steam activation (APHS) with mesopore-rich pore structures were prepared for application as electrodes in electrical double-layer capacitors (EDLC). The surface morphologies and structural characteristics of APHS were observed using scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction analysis, respectively. The textural properties were described using Brunauer-Emmett-Teller and Barrett-Joyner-Halenda equations with N2/77 K adsorption isotherms. APHS were prepared under various steam activation conditions to find optimal ones, which were then applied as electrode materials for the EDLC. The observed specific surface areas and total pore volumes of the APHS were in the range 1170–2410 m2/g and 0.48–1.22 cm3/g, respectively. It was observed that pore size distribution mainly depended on the activation time and temperature, and that the volume of pores with size of 1.5–2.5 nm was found to be a key factor determining the electrochemical capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposites for Environmental and Energy Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Large Scale Process for Low Crystalline MoO3-Carbon Composite Microspheres Prepared by One-Step Spray Pyrolysis for Anodes in Lithium-Ion Batteries
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(4), 539; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9040539
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 26 March 2019 / Accepted: 27 March 2019 / Published: 3 April 2019
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Abstract
This paper introduces a large-scale and facile method for synthesizing low crystalline MoO3/carbon composite microspheres, in which MoO3 nanocrystals are distributed homogeneously in the amorphous carbon matrix, directly by a one-step spray pyrolysis. The MoO3/carbon composite microspheres with [...] Read more.
This paper introduces a large-scale and facile method for synthesizing low crystalline MoO3/carbon composite microspheres, in which MoO3 nanocrystals are distributed homogeneously in the amorphous carbon matrix, directly by a one-step spray pyrolysis. The MoO3/carbon composite microspheres with mean diameters of 0.7 µm were directly formed from one droplet by a series of drying, decomposition, and crystalizing inside the hot-wall reactor within six seconds. The MoO3/carbon composite microspheres had high specific discharge capacities of 811 mA h g−1 after 100 cycles, even at a high current density of 1.0 A g−1 when applied as anode materials for lithium-ion batteries. The MoO3/carbon composite microspheres had final discharge capacities of 999, 875, 716, and 467 mA h g−1 at current densities of 0.5, 1.5, 3.0, and 5.0 A g−1, respectively. MoO3/carbon composite microspheres provide better Li-ion storage than do bare MoO3 powders because of their high structural stability and electrical conductivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposites for Environmental and Energy Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Compact Integration of TiO2 Nanoparticles into the Cross-Points of 3D Vertically Stacked Ag Nanowires for Plasmon-Enhanced Photocatalysis
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(3), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9030468
Received: 27 February 2019 / Revised: 13 March 2019 / Accepted: 13 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3995 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The compact integration of semiconductor TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) into the 3D crossed region of stacked plasmonic Ag nanowires (NWs) enhanced the photocatalytic activities through synergistic effects between the strong localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) excitation at the 3D cross-points of the Ag [...] Read more.
The compact integration of semiconductor TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) into the 3D crossed region of stacked plasmonic Ag nanowires (NWs) enhanced the photocatalytic activities through synergistic effects between the strong localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) excitation at the 3D cross-points of the Ag NWs and the efficient hot electron transfer at the interface between the Ag NWs and the TiO2 NPs. This paper explored new hybrid nanostructures based on the selective assembly of TiO2 NPs onto 3D cross-points of vertically stacked Ag NWs. The assembled TiO2 NPs directly contacted the 3D Ag NWs; therefore, charge separation occurred efficiently at the interface between the Ag NWs and the TiO2 NPs. The composite nanomaterials exhibited high extinction across the ultraviolet-visible range, rendering the nanomaterials high-performance photocatalysts across the full (ultraviolet-visible) and the visible spectral regions. Theoretical simulations clearly revealed that the local plasmonic field was highly enhanced at the 3D crossed regions of the vertically stacked Ag NWs. A Raman spectroscopic analysis of probe dye molecules under photodegradation conditions clearly revealed that the nanogap in the 3D crossed region was crucial for facilitating plasmon-enhanced photocatalysis and plasmon-enhanced spectroscopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposites for Environmental and Energy Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Efficient Copper Removal from an Aqueous Anvironment using a Novel and Hybrid Nanoadsorbent Based on Derived-Polyethyleneimine Linked to Silica Magnetic Nanocomposites
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(2), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9020209
Received: 10 January 2019 / Revised: 28 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
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Abstract
Due to the extreme rise of sludge pollution with heavy metals (e.g. copper), the options for its disposal or treatment are decreasing. On the contrary, properly heavy metal-cleaned sludge can be used as an alternative sustainable energy and agriculture source. The aim of [...] Read more.
Due to the extreme rise of sludge pollution with heavy metals (e.g. copper), the options for its disposal or treatment are decreasing. On the contrary, properly heavy metal-cleaned sludge can be used as an alternative sustainable energy and agriculture source. The aim of this study was to develop a novel nanoadsorbent, based on irreversibly linked amino-rich polymer onto previously silica-coated magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) that can be applied efficiently for metal removal. MNPs were coated uniformly by 3 nm thick silica layer (core-shell structure), and were additionally modified with systematic covalent attachment of derived branched polyethyleneimine (bPEI). The formed structure of synthesized MNPs composite was confirmed with several analytical techniques. Importantly, nanoadsorbents exhibit high density of chelating amino groups and large magnetic force for easier separation. The importance of introduced bPEI, effect of pH, initial heavy metal concentration onto copper uptake efficiency and, further, nanoadsorbent regeneration, were studied and explained in detail. The adsorption isotherm was well fitted with Langmuir model, and the maximum adsorption capacity was shown to be 143 mg·g−1 for Cu2+. The reusability and superior properties of silica-coated MNPs functionalized with derived-bPEI for copper adsorption underlie its potential for the removal application from heavy metals contaminated sludge Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposites for Environmental and Energy Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Efficient Removal of Lead, Copper and Cadmium Ions from Water by a Porous Calcium Alginate/Graphene Oxide Composite Aerogel
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(11), 957; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8110957
Received: 1 November 2018 / Revised: 13 November 2018 / Accepted: 17 November 2018 / Published: 20 November 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3954 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, we fabricated a porous calcium alginate/graphene oxide composite aerogel by using polystyrene colloidal particles as sacrificial template and graphene oxide as a reinforcing filler. Owing to the excellent metal chelation ability of calcium alginate and controlled nanosized pore structure, the [...] Read more.
In this study, we fabricated a porous calcium alginate/graphene oxide composite aerogel by using polystyrene colloidal particles as sacrificial template and graphene oxide as a reinforcing filler. Owing to the excellent metal chelation ability of calcium alginate and controlled nanosized pore structure, the as-prepared calcium alginate/graphene oxide composite aerogel (mp-CA/GO) can reach the adsorption equilibrium in 40 min, and the maximum adsorption capacity for Pb2+, Cu2+ and Cd2+ is 368.2, 98.1 and 183.6 mg/g, respectively. This is higher than most of the reported heavy metal ion sorbents. Moreover, the mp-CA/GO can be regenerated through simple acid-washing and be used repeatedly with little loss in performance. The adsorption mechanism analysis indicates that the mp-CA/GO adsorb the heavy metal ions mainly through the ion exchange and chemical coordination effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposites for Environmental and Energy Applications)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Roles of Nanomaterials in Conventional and Emerging Technologies for Heavy Metal Removal: A State-of-the-Art Review
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(4), 625; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9040625
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
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Abstract
Heavy metal (HM) pollution in waterways is a serious threat towards global water security, as high dosages of HM poisoning can significantly harm all living organisms. Researchers have developed promising methods to isolate, separate, or reduce these HMs from water bodies to overcome [...] Read more.
Heavy metal (HM) pollution in waterways is a serious threat towards global water security, as high dosages of HM poisoning can significantly harm all living organisms. Researchers have developed promising methods to isolate, separate, or reduce these HMs from water bodies to overcome this. This includes techniques, such as adsorption, photocatalysis, and membrane removal. Nanomaterials play an integral role in all of these remediation techniques. Nanomaterials of different shapes have been atomically designed via various synthesis techniques, such as hydrothermal, wet chemical synthesis, and so on to develop unique nanomaterials with exceptional properties, including high surface area and porosity, modified surface charge, increment in active sites, enhanced photocatalytic efficiency, and improved HM removal selectivity. In this work, a comprehensive review on the role that nanomaterials play in removing HM from waterways. The unique characteristics of the nanomaterials, synthesis technique, and removal principles are presented. A detailed visualisation of HM removal performances and the mechanisms behind this improvement is also detailed. Finally, the future directions for the development of nanomaterials are highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposites for Environmental and Energy Applications)
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Open AccessReview
In-Situ Synthesized [email protected] Materials for the Lithium Ion Battery: A Mini Review
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(3), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9030432
Received: 27 January 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
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Abstract
As an important component, the anode determines the property and development of lithium ion batteries. The synthetic method and the structure design of the negative electrode materials play decisive roles in improving the property of the thus-assembled batteries. [email protected] compound materials have been [...] Read more.
As an important component, the anode determines the property and development of lithium ion batteries. The synthetic method and the structure design of the negative electrode materials play decisive roles in improving the property of the thus-assembled batteries. [email protected] compound materials have been widely used based on their excellent lithium ion intercalation capacity and cyclic stability, in which the in-situ synthetic method can make full use of the structural advantages of the monomer itself, thus improving the electrochemical performance of the anode material. In this paper, the different preparation technologies and composite structures of [email protected] compound materials by in-situ synthesis are introduced. The research progress of [email protected] compound materials by in-situ synthesis is reviewed, and the prospect of future development of [email protected] compound materials has been tentatively commented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposites for Environmental and Energy Applications)
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