Topic Editors

Prof. Dr. Robert A. Varin
Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
Dr. Geng Zhong
Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute, Shenzhen International Graduate School, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, China

Nanomaterials for Energy and Environmental Applications

Abstract submission deadline
closed (31 December 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (31 March 2024)
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Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Due to the size effect, materials with nanoscale dimensions or structures are advantageous in offering huge surface-to-volume ratios, favorable transport properties, altered physical properties, and confinement effects. Functional nanomaterials have been extensively studied for energy-related applications such as solar cells, catalysts, and electrochemical energy storage systems. Nanostructured materials benefit these applications by (1) providing a large surface area to boost the electrochemical reaction at the heterophase interface, (2) generating optical effects to improve optical absorption in solar cells, and (3) giving rise to a porous structure to facilitate the electron or ion transport and electrolyte diffusion, so as to ensure a high-efficiency electrochemical process. I invite you to submit manuscripts on topics including (but not limited to) the following:

1. Nanomaterials for the future hydrogen economy (any aspect);

2. Nanomaterials for renewable energy production and efficient storage;

3. Nanomaterials for electrochemical energy conversion and storage systems;

4. Nanomaterials for sustainable energy and environmental protection;

5. Nanomaterials for a sustainable environment;

6. Nanomaterials for water and wastewater treatment;

7. Nanomaterials for future highly efficient solar cells and solar energy conversion;

8. Technology for the synthesis of functional nanomaterials;

9. New mechanisms relying on nanostructures;

10. Understanding of the relationship between the device performance and the nanomaterial structure.

Prof. Dr. Robert A. Varin
Dr. Geng Zhong
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • nanomaterials
  • energy
  • nanomanufacturing
  • electrochemical
  • carbon neutral
  • wastewater

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Applied Sciences
applsci
2.7 4.5 2011 16.9 Days CHF 2400
Energies
energies
3.2 5.5 2008 16.1 Days CHF 2600
Materials
materials
3.4 5.2 2008 13.9 Days CHF 2600
Nanoenergy Advances
nanoenergyadv
- - 2021 31 Days CHF 1000
Nanomaterials
nanomaterials
5.3 7.4 2010 13.6 Days CHF 2900

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Published Papers (9 papers)

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12 pages, 6362 KiB  
Article
Lotus Root Type Nickel Oxide-Carbon Nanofibers: A Hybrid Supercapacitor Electrode Material
by Juhyeong Kim, Junho Lee, Hwajeong Ryu, Yoon Hwa, Aneel Pervez, Taeyong Choi, Suyong Nam and Yoonkook Son
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(7), 2977; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14072977 - 01 Apr 2024
Viewed by 383
Abstract
In this study, we investigate the electrochemical properties of a nickel oxide-carbon (NiO/C) material, synthesized in the form of highly porous carbon nanofibers through the electrospinning of polymers such as polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and polystyrene (PS) followed by a carbonization process. The primary focus [...] Read more.
In this study, we investigate the electrochemical properties of a nickel oxide-carbon (NiO/C) material, synthesized in the form of highly porous carbon nanofibers through the electrospinning of polymers such as polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and polystyrene (PS) followed by a carbonization process. The primary focus of this work is to determine the optimal mixing ratio for the hybrid material composed of NiO and carbon. While it is widely acknowledged that supercapacitor materials benefit from having a high specific surface area, our findings reveal that hybrid carbon nanofibers with a 45% specific carbon-to-nickel oxide ratio exhibit significantly enhanced capacitance (39.9 F g−1). This outcome suggests the promising potential of our materials as an energy storage material for hybrid supercapacitors, combining the advantages of electric double-layer capacitors (EDLC) and Pseudo capacitors (Pseudo). Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Nanomaterials for Energy and Environmental Applications)
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16 pages, 4162 KiB  
Article
An Experimental Study on the Effect of Nanofluids on the Thermal Conductivity and Rheological Properties of a Coolant for Liquids
by Le Sun, Jiafeng Geng, Kaijun Dong and Qin Sun
Energies 2024, 17(6), 1313; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17061313 - 08 Mar 2024
Viewed by 540
Abstract
Thermal conductivity and viscosity are important properties for nanofluids as they significantly affect the flow and heat transfer process. To date, the rheological properties of water-based nanofluids have been well studied, while the results are scarce for non-aqueous nanofluids. In this study, the [...] Read more.
Thermal conductivity and viscosity are important properties for nanofluids as they significantly affect the flow and heat transfer process. To date, the rheological properties of water-based nanofluids have been well studied, while the results are scarce for non-aqueous nanofluids. In this study, the thermal conductivity and rheological properties of two different kinds of oxide nanofluids (CuO and Al2O3) in a typical commercial data center focusing on liquid coolants were systematically investigated at different mass fractions and temperatures. The results showed that the addition of nanoparticles can significantly improve the heat conduction capacity of mineral oil coolants. There is an average increase in thermal conductivity of up to 20–25%. The shear rate–shear stress and shear rate–viscosity curves all showed that mineral oil coolant-based oxide nanofluids behaved as Newtonian fluids and that nanoparticles did not cause the increment in viscosity. The effect of temperature on rheological properties was also studied, and the result showed that high temperatures resulted in low viscosity and shear stress. Finally, the effect of particle type was investigated, and it was found that no matter what kind of nanoparticles were added, their effects on the rheological behaviors were the same. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Nanomaterials for Energy and Environmental Applications)
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15 pages, 6612 KiB  
Article
Development of Polymer-Cored Akaganeite Adsorbent for Phosphate Adsorption
by Jiyeol Bae, Hyobin We, Suho Kim, Sungjik Oh and Soyoung Baek
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(1), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14010146 - 23 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1009
Abstract
Environmental issues related to phosphate and resource depletion have recently emerged as serious problems. This study focuses on solving the problems of phosphate removal and recovery using synthesized granular akaganeite (GAK). This study identified that akaganeite, which possesses an FeOOH structure in iron [...] Read more.
Environmental issues related to phosphate and resource depletion have recently emerged as serious problems. This study focuses on solving the problems of phosphate removal and recovery using synthesized granular akaganeite (GAK). This study identified that akaganeite, which possesses an FeOOH structure in iron oxyhydroxide, can be synthesized and used as a reusable material. Immobilization with the core–shell method using polyethersulfone was applied as a strategy to recover phosphate anions from a trace of phosphate solution. GAK was successfully analyzed using SEM/TGA/BET to understand its physical properties. XRD and SAD pattern analyses suggested that the GAK powder form was amorphous in nature. The powdered akaganeite had a surface area of 231 mg2/g and a maximum adsorption capacity of 21.27 mg/g. To prevent the dispersion of powder during granulation, polyethersulfone was used as a scaffold since akaganeite particles can be effectively immobilized onto PES polymer scaffolds, as substantiated by the SEM/EDS results. Moreover, a lack of changes in the pore sizes suggested that physical properties remained unchanged. Furthermore, compared to the granular akaganeite, the surface area of powdered akaganeite decreased 4–5-fold. The adsorption kinetic of granular akaganeite fit the pseudo-second-order model. The powdered form displayed high removal efficiency, intimate with phosphate anions, when n > 1.0, instead of lower KF. On the other hand, granular akaganeite showed lower affinity when n < 1.0, but appeared positive for an adsorbate with higher KF. This implies that the granulation of akaganeite with the PES polymer did not change its adsorption property, with the maximum adsorption capacity for granular akaganeite being 3.65 mg/g. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Nanomaterials for Energy and Environmental Applications)
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23 pages, 8283 KiB  
Article
Towards the Development of a Z-Scheme FeOx/g-C3N4 Thin Film and Perspectives for Ciprofloxacin Visible Light-Driven Photocatalytic Degradation
by Murilo Fendrich, Om Prakash Bajpai, Raju Edla, Alessandra Molinari, Paola Ragonese, Chiara Maurizio, Michele Orlandi and Antonio Miotello
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(19), 10591; https://doi.org/10.3390/app131910591 - 22 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 965
Abstract
Thermally synthesized graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) over pulsed laser deposition (PLD) produced urchin-like iron oxide (FeOx) thin films were fabricated via in situ and ex situ processes. Materials characterisation revealed the formation of the graphitic allotrope of C3 [...] Read more.
Thermally synthesized graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) over pulsed laser deposition (PLD) produced urchin-like iron oxide (FeOx) thin films were fabricated via in situ and ex situ processes. Materials characterisation revealed the formation of the graphitic allotrope of C3N4 and a bandgap Eg for the combined FeOx/g-C3N4 of 1.87 and 1.95 eV for each of the different fabrication strategies. The in situ method permitted to develop a novel petal-like morphology, whereas for the ex situ method, a morphological mixture between FeOx bulk and g-C3N4 was observed. Given the improved optical and morphological properties of the in situ film, it was employed as a proof of concept for the direct photocatalysis and photo-Fenton removal of ciprofloxacin antibiotic (CIP) under visible light irradiation. Improved photocatalytic activity (rate constant k = 8.28 × 10−4 min−1) was observed, with further enhancement under photo-Fenton conditions (k = 2.6 × 10−3 min−1), in comparison with FeOx + H2O2 (k = 1.6 × 10−3 min−1) and H2O2 only (k = 1.3 × 10−4 min−1). These effects demonstrate the in situ methodology as a viable route to obtain working heterojunctions for solar photocatalysis in thin-film materials, rather than the more common powder materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Nanomaterials for Energy and Environmental Applications)
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26 pages, 24813 KiB  
Review
Magnetic Nanoparticles as Mediators for Magnetic Hyperthermia Therapy Applications: A Status Review
by Miloš Beković, Irena Ban, Miha Drofenik and Janja Stergar
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(17), 9548; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13179548 - 23 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1038
Abstract
This concise review delves into the realm of superparamagnetic nanoparticles, specifically focusing on Fe2O3, Mg1+xFe2−2xTixO4, Ni1−xCux, and CrxNi1−x, along with their synthesis methods [...] Read more.
This concise review delves into the realm of superparamagnetic nanoparticles, specifically focusing on Fe2O3, Mg1+xFe2−2xTixO4, Ni1−xCux, and CrxNi1−x, along with their synthesis methods and applications in magnetic hyperthermia. Remarkable advancements have been made in controlling the size and shape of these nanoparticles, achieved through various synthesis techniques such as coprecipitation, mechanical milling, microemulsion, and sol–gel synthesis. Through this review, our objective is to present the outcomes of diverse synthesis methods, the surface treatment of superparamagnetic nanoparticles, their magnetic properties, and Curie temperature, and elucidate their impact on heating efficiency when subjected to high-frequency magnetic fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Nanomaterials for Energy and Environmental Applications)
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15 pages, 6194 KiB  
Article
Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles—Solution-Based Synthesis and Characterizations
by Khagendra P. Bhandari, Dhurba R. Sapkota, Manoj K. Jamarkattel, Quenton Stillion and Robert W. Collins
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(11), 1795; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13111795 - 02 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2355
Abstract
Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles have shown great potential because of their versatile and promising applications in different fields, including solar cells. Various methods of synthesizing ZnO materials have been reported. In this work, controlled synthesis of ZnO nanoparticles was achieved via a simple, [...] Read more.
Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles have shown great potential because of their versatile and promising applications in different fields, including solar cells. Various methods of synthesizing ZnO materials have been reported. In this work, controlled synthesis of ZnO nanoparticles was achieved via a simple, cost-effective, and facile synthetic method. Using transmittance spectra and film thickness of ZnO, the optical band gap energies were calculated. For as-synthesized and annealed ZnO films, the bandgap energies were found to be 3.40 eV and 3.30 eV, respectively. The nature of the optical transition indicates that the material is a direct bandgap semiconductor. Spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) analysis was used to extract dielectric functions where the onset of optical absorption of ZnO was observed at lower photon energy due to annealing of the nanoparticle film. Similarly, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) data revealed that the material is pure and crystalline in nature, with the average crystallite size of ~9 nm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Nanomaterials for Energy and Environmental Applications)
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19 pages, 1313 KiB  
Review
Application of Nanotechnology in Extinguishing Agents
by Anna Rabajczyk, Maria Zielecka and Justyna Gniazdowska
Materials 2022, 15(24), 8876; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15248876 - 12 Dec 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2324
Abstract
Extinguishing agents are a very important tool in the field of security, both in terms of private and social aspects. Depending on the type of burning substance and place of fire, appropriately prepared and developed solutions should be used. We can distinguish, among [...] Read more.
Extinguishing agents are a very important tool in the field of security, both in terms of private and social aspects. Depending on the type of burning substance and place of fire, appropriately prepared and developed solutions should be used. We can distinguish, among others, materials, powders or foaming agents. Modifications introduced into them, including ones based on the achievements in the field of nanotechnology, can improve their safety of use and extend their service life. Such amendments also reduce the costs of production and neutralization of the area after a fire, and increase the fire extinguishing effectiveness. The introduction of nanoparticles allows, e.g., shortening of the fire extinguishing time, reduction of the risk of smoke emission and the toxic substances contained in it, and an increase in the specific surface of particles and thus increasing the sorption of pollutants. The elaborations use metal nanoparticles, e.g., NP-Ag, metal oxides such as NP-SiO2, as well as particles of substances already present in extinguishing agents but treated and reduced to nanosize. It should be noted, however, that all changes must lead to obtaining a tool that meets the relevant legal requirements and has appropriate approvals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Nanomaterials for Energy and Environmental Applications)
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28 pages, 6846 KiB  
Review
Advances of Carbon Materials for Dual-Carbon Lithium-Ion Capacitors: A Review
by Ying Duan, Changle Li, Zhantong Ye, Hongpeng Li, Yanliang Yang, Dong Sui and Yanhong Lu
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(22), 3954; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12223954 - 10 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1609
Abstract
Lithium-ion capacitors (LICs) have drawn increasing attention, due to their appealing potential for bridging the performance gap between lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors. Especially, dual-carbon lithium-ion capacitors (DC-LICs) are even more attractive because of the low cost, high conductivity, and tunable nanostructure/surface chemistry/composition, as [...] Read more.
Lithium-ion capacitors (LICs) have drawn increasing attention, due to their appealing potential for bridging the performance gap between lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors. Especially, dual-carbon lithium-ion capacitors (DC-LICs) are even more attractive because of the low cost, high conductivity, and tunable nanostructure/surface chemistry/composition, as well as excellent chemical/electrochemical stability of carbon materials. Based on the well-matched capacity and rate between the cathode and anode, DC-LICs show superior electrochemical performances over traditional LICs and are considered to be one of the most promising alternatives to the current energy storage devices. In particular, the mismatch between the cathode and anode could be further suppressed by applying carbon nanomaterials. Although great progresses of DC-LICs have been achieved, a comprehensive review about the advances of electrode materials is still absent. Herein, in this review, the progresses of traditional and nanosized carbons as cathode/anode materials for DC-LICs are systematically summarized, with an emphasis on their synthesis, structure, morphology, and electrochemical performances. Furthermore, an outlook is tentatively presented, aiming to develop advanced DC-LICs for commercial applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Nanomaterials for Energy and Environmental Applications)
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14 pages, 4957 KiB  
Article
Mechanical and Electrical Properties of Graphene Oxide Reinforced Copper–Tungsten Composites Produced via Ball Milling of Metal Flakes
by Fei Lin, Ruoyu Xu, Mingyu Zhou, Robert J. Young, Ian A. Kinloch and Yi Ding
Materials 2022, 15(21), 7736; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15217736 - 03 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1617
Abstract
Copper–tungsten (Cu-W) composites are widely used in high-power and -temperature electrical applications. The combination of these metals, however, leads to compromised physical and electrical properties. Herein, we produce Cu-W-graphene oxide (Cu-W-GO) composites to address this challenge. To ensure uniform density composites, the as-received [...] Read more.
Copper–tungsten (Cu-W) composites are widely used in high-power and -temperature electrical applications. The combination of these metals, however, leads to compromised physical and electrical properties. Herein, we produce Cu-W-graphene oxide (Cu-W-GO) composites to address this challenge. To ensure uniform density composites, the as-received metal powders were flattened into a flake morphology by ball milling and then mixed with up to 0.5 wt.% GO flakes. The green forms were processed using spark plasma sintering. The GO was found to be well-dispersed amongst the metallic phases in the final composite. The addition of GO reduced the relative density of the composites slightly (4.7% decrease in relative density at 0.5 wt% GO loading for the composites processed at 1000 °C). X-ray diffraction confirmed good phase purity and that no carbide phases were produced. GO was found to improve the mechanical properties of the Cu-W, with an optimal loading of 0.1 wt.% GO found for ultimate compression strength and strain to failure, and 0.3 wt.% optimal loading for the 0.2% offset yield strength. Significantly, the electrical conductivity increased by up to 25% with the addition of 0.1 wt.% GO but decreased with higher GO loadings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Nanomaterials for Energy and Environmental Applications)
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