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Dr. Prof. Sabu Thomas

Vice Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi University, India

Professor Sabu Thomas is Director of the International and Interuniversity Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Mahatam Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, India. He was the former Vice Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, India. Prof.Thomas is a highly committed teacher and a remarkably active researcher well-known nationally and internationally for his outstanding contributions in polymer science and nanotechnology. He has published over 1400 research articles in international refereed journals. and has also edited and written 200 books. His H-index is 136 and total citations are more than 86,000. He has supervised 125 PhD theses. He has received many international and national awards and recognitions. Under the leadership of Prof. Thomas, Mahatma Gandhi University has been transformed into a top University in India.

Dec 6, 2023, 8:40AM–8:55AM EST

Nanostructured Polysaccharides Materials for Water Purification

The design and synthesis of nano-architected cellulose and chitin can act as efficient materials for water purification. The talk aims to study and compare the performance of a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) electrospun membrane, unmodified cellulose nanofiber (CNF) based PVDF membrane, and Meldrum’s acid (2,2-dimethyl-1,3-dioxane-4,6-dione) modified CNF-based PVDF membranes against the Fe2O3 nanoparticle filtration and crystal violet (CV) dye adsorption. Herein, we introduced a facile method to produce a unique green adsorbent material from cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) via a nonsolvent assisted procedure using Meldrum’s acid as an esterification agent to enhance the adsorption toward positively charged crystal violet dyes. Most of the surface modifications of cellulose nanofibers have been done using toxic organic solvents like pyridine, dimethyl acetate, (2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidin-1-yl)oxyl (TEMPO), etc. So far, this is the first report on the surface modification of cellulose nanofibers via a nonsolvent assisted procedure. Both CNF-based PVDF membranes were prepared by successive coating of modified and unmodified CNFs on to the surface of a PVDF electrospun membrane. All the demonstrated membranes showed high filtration capacity against the Fe2O3 nanoparticles. With the 10 mg/L of crystal violet (CV) aqueous solution, CV adsorption of PVDF electrospun membrane, and unmodified CNF-based PVDF membrane was around 1.368 and 2.948 mg/g of the membrane respectively, whereas it was 3.984 mg/g of the membrane by Meldrum’s acid CNF-based PVDF membrane. The demonstrated Meldrum’s acid modified CNF-based PVDF membrane was proven to be the efficient media that can concurrently eliminate the Fe2O3 nanoparticles and CV dyes from the water. The investigation into the surface chemistries of cellulose nanofibers beyond the adoption of toxic solvents can enhance the economic usefulness of the process and also yield a new eco-friendly adsorbent material that is agreeable to adsorbing various toxic pollutants.

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