Environmental fate of carbon-based nanomaterials
Professor Chad Jafvert recently completed a $600,000 research project funded by the U.S. EPA on the environmental fate of carbon-based nanomaterials. His co-principal investigators on the project were Professor Tim Filley from the Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences Department at Purdue, and Professor Howard Fairbrother from the Chemistry Department at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.
One of the many research papers that resulted from this project was featured on the cover of the April 2015 issue of the journal: Environmental Science: Nano, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry (London). The paper was authored by Professor Jafvert and his Ph.D. student, Yingcan Zhao, and is entitled: “Environmental Photochemistry of Single Layered Graphene Oxide in Water”. The paper explores how this specific carbon-based nanomaterial is transformed by sunlight in the aquatic environment, and shows that reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced through electron transfer from graphene oxide to dissolve molecular oxygen, and that the surfaces of the graphene oxide sheets undergo chemical changes.
This is one of the first studies to report on the environmental fate of this emerging nanomaterial.