A glassful of graphene: graphene-based materials for drinking water remediation

Bianchi, Antonio (2023) A glassful of graphene: graphene-based materials for drinking water remediation, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Chimica, 35 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10651.
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Modern world suffers from an intense water crisis. Emerging contaminants represent one of the most concerning elements of this issue. Substances, molecules, ions, and microorganisms take part in this vast and variegated class of pollutants, which main characteristic is to be highly resistant to traditional water purification technologies. An intense international research effort is being carried out in order to find new and innovative solutions to this problem, and graphene-based materials are one of the most promising options. Graphene oxide (GO) is a nanostructured material where domains populated by oxygenated groups alternate with interconnected areas of sp2 hybridized carbon atoms, on the surface of a one-atom thick nanosheets. GO can adsorb a great number of molecules and ions on its surface, thanks to the variety of different interactions that it can express, such as hydrogen bonding, p-p stacking, and electrostatic and hydrophobic interaction. These characteristics, added to the high superficial area, make it an optimal material for the development of innovative materials for drinking water remediation. The main concern in the use of GO in this field is to avoid secondary contaminations (i.e. GO itself must not become a pollutant). This issue can be faced through the immobilization of GO onto polymeric substrates, thus developing composite materials. The use of micro/ultrafiltration polymeric hollow fibers as substrates allows the design of adsorptive membranes, meaning devices that can perform filtration and adsorption simultaneously. In this thesis, two strategies for the development of adsorptive membranes were investigated: a core-shell strategy, where hollow fibers are coated with GO, and a coextrusion strategy, where GO is embedded in the polymeric matrix of the fibers. The so-obtained devices were exploited for both fundamental studies (i.e. molecular and ionic behaviour in between GO nanosheets) and real applications (the coextruded material is now at TRL 9).

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Bianchi, Antonio
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Graphene oxide; Nanomaterials; Water remediation; Adsorptive membranes; Adsorption; Filtration; Composite materials; Core-shell; Coextrusion
Data di discussione
23 Marzo 2023

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