They are working to test the hypothesis that biomass could be adapted to novel materials to facilitate energy-efficient water treatment.
To do that, they will complete three steps.
First, they will design and synthesize 3D carbon nanomaterials from biomass with controllable pore sizes. These materials will be both mechanically robust and highly electrically conductive.
Second, they will investigate the performance of a capacitive desalination device using synthesized biomass-converted 3D porous carbon nanomaterials.
Third, they will study the performance of carbonized and hybrid nanomaterials in water purification by removing organic pollutants and heavy metals.
The researchers foresee their work helping to reduce the negative impact of biomass and helping to provide clean water to communities. They also foresee their work helping to reduce the cost of water desalination.
Dong and Yang received $150,000 from the U.S. Department of the Interior for this project. Funding began in March 2020 and will end in late March 2022.