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NTU scientist develops a multi-purpose wonder material to tackle enviromental challenges
Date:3/20/2013

A new wonder material that can generate hydrogen, produce clean water and even create energy.

Science fiction? Hardly, and there's more - It can also desalinate water, be used as flexible water filtration membranes, help recover energy from desalination waste brine, be made into flexible solar cells and can also double the lifespan of lithium ion batteries. With its superior bacteria-killing capabilities, it can also be used to develop a new type of antibacterial bandage.

Scientists at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, led by Associate Professor Darren Sun have succeeded in developing a single, revolutionary nanomaterial that can do all the above and at very low cost compared to existing technology.

This breakthrough which has taken Prof Sun five years to develop is dubbed the Multi-use Titanium Dioxide (TiO2). It is formed by turning titanium dioxide crystals into patented nanofibres, which can then be easily fabricated into patented flexible filter membranes which include a combination of carbon, copper, zinc or tin, depending on the specific end product needed.

Titanium dioxide is a cheap and abundant material, which has been scientifically proven to have the ability to accelerate a chemical reaction (photocatalytic) and is also able to bond easily with water (hydrophilic).

More than 70 scientific papers on Prof Sun's work in titanium dioxide has been published in the last five years, the latest being papers published in Water Research, Energy and Environmental Science, and Journal of Materials Chemistry.

Prof Sun, 52, from NTU's School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said such a low-cost and easily produced nanomaterial is expected to have immense potential to help tackle ongoing global challenges in energy and environmental issues.

With the world's population expected to hit 8.3 billion by 2030, there will be a massive increase in the global dem
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Contact: Lester Kok
lesterkok@ntu.edu.sg
65-679-06804
Nanyang Technological University
Source:Eurekalert  

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