Nanotechnology-enabled Materials and Processes for Sustainable Pollution Mitigation

Wen Zhang event picture.
Event Speaker
Wen Zhang, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE
Associate Professor
Event Type
CBEE Seminar
Jan. 9, 4 to 5 p.m.
Event Location
Johnson 102 and Zoom ( Password: CBEE
Event Description

Dr. Zhang’s group primarily focuses on nanomaterial interfaces where unique catalytic reactions and membrane filtration are employed to achieve in situ removal or conversion of water pollutants. In this talk, different reactive membrane systems (i.e., photocatalytically reactive membranes, microwave-enabled reactive membrane, and electrochemically reactive membranes) will be demonstrated. Specific examples of enhanced pollutant removal and nutrient recovery will be introduced using novel electrochemically reactive membranes. Water and air filtration using microwave-enabled membrane filtration will be discussed to highlight the utility of microwave as an energizing radiation to promote synergies of recalcitrant pollutants (e.g., PFAS) degradation and viral inactivation in both water and air filtration. Finally, nanobubbles (NBs), a special form of bubbles in liquid, will be introduced to highlight many appealing characteristics, such as a long residence time of bubbles in water due to their low buoyancy and stability against coalesces, collapse or burst. Long retention times in water potentially enhance chemical reactions and mass transfer in processes such as ozonation or aeration. In addition, gaseous NBs may increase the solubility of the gas species (e.g., ozone, oxygen or other gases) that may have low solubility in water or other liquids. This presentation will also give an overview of the common generation processes and principles. Then, the electrochemical, colloidal and mechanical properties of nanobubbles in water will be introduced. These properties are often important for many aquatic behaviour such as chemical reactions, aeration, and dissolution or collapse. Finally, the applications of nanobubble water for plant irrigation, soil fertilization and aeration will be discussed to highlight the promising potential for agricultural and environmental engineering fields. 

Speaker Biography

Wen Zhang is an associate professor of Newark College of Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology. Wen is a licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) registered in the States of New Jersey and Delaware. He is an American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES) Board Certified Environmental Engineer (BCEE). Dr. Zhang's research focuses on colloidal interfaces and processes that are crucial for environmental and chemical engineering applications. His expertise includes environmental behavior and interfacial processes for nanomaterials, microplastics and soft particles such as microbes and bubbles, reactive membrane filtration systems for desalination and emerging contaminant removal, microalgal removal and harvesting processing using magnetophoretic separation and membrane filtration processes. His latest research also expands from agricultural applications of nanobubbles to lithium/cobalt recovery from spent lithium-ion batteries. More details are available at Zhang’s website:

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