ENGINEERING HDR SEMINAR SERIES (49/2013) : Nanocomposite biosorbent for water purification

Mr. Lam Weng Hoong, postgraduate student from School of Engineering, Monash University Sunway Campus

Date: 2013-10-31
Time: 11:00 to 12:00
Venue: Engineering Meeting Room 1, 5-4-22


The contamination of natural freshwater bodies with heavy metal in recent decades is alarming and unprecedented. Heavy metal concentration in natural freshwater bodies often exists in dilute concentration, which renders many conventional water treatment techniques ineffective. Biosorbents are proven to be effective when used in dilute aqueous systems to remove heavy metals. Recent biosorbents have evolved in a way that could allow addition of photocatalytic or magnetic properties in the biosorbent that will lead to the development of a new class of biosorbent. The synthesis technique of these biosorbents usually involves immobilizing nanoparticles with distinctive properties in the biopolymer network to form spherical nanocomposite beads. Large nanocomposite beads (> 1 mm) are commonly produced in the fabrication process. Nevertheless, the large nanocomposite beads could hinder the photocatalytic reaction or adsorption kinetics and adsorption capacity of heavy metals on the beads. On the other hand, there were attempts to fabricate small-sized nanocomposite microbeads incorporating magnetic particles to facilitate the post-treatment separation by induction of magnetic field. However, the photocatalytic reaction could induce photo-dissolution of the magnetic particles. This research aims to develop methods to fabricate nanocomposite microbeads of core-shell structure in which the photocatalytic and magnetic nanoparticles will be immobilized in the shell and the core of the microbeads, respectively. Dilute concentration of Arsenic (III) will be used as model pollutant. The performance of the nanocomposite microbeads will be evaluated subsequently.

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About the Speaker

Mr. Lam Weng Hoong graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering with Honours) from Monash University Malaysia in 2012. He joined Monash University in the same year for postgraduate studies under the supervision of Associate Professor Chan Eng Seng, Dr. Chong Meng Nan and Professor Tey Beng Ti. His research focuses on the design and development of nanocomposite biosorbent for water purification.