Third talk NAS seminar series

SPU’s NAS Research Committee invites you to the Third Talk in the NAS Seminar Series 2023 that will take place on 3 August 2023. 

The event details are as follows:

Title: Advanced Materials – Development, Synthesis, Characterization, and Application  

Speakers: Prof. Nhamo Chaukura, Dr Themba Tshabalala, Dr Puseletso Mokoena, Dr Abimbola Oluwalana, and Ms. Danielle Speek  

Date: Thursday, 3 August 2023    

Time: 15:00 for 15:30    

Venue: Auditorium 1, Building C006, Central Campus      

Talk Summary

Our research focuses on the design, synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of various functional materials for different environmental and industrial applications. These include catalyst supports, filtration media, and other materials with tunable properties for specific applications. For instance, zeolitic materials have well-defined porous structures and have been widely used as catalyst supports. The modification of such supports with rare earth elements produces catalysts that can be used in the conversion of hydrocarbons into valuable compounds with applications in petroleum, pharmaceutical, polymer, and other industries. Other materials include biowaste-derived activated carbons that have found application in size exclusion and sorption of guest molecules from environmental matrices. These materials can thus, be used to remove a range of pollutants from environmental compartments such as soil, air, and aquatic systems. Clays have also been widely researched. Because of the presence of reactive clay minerals and tunable porosity, they can be used to selectively allow certain species to pass through. Besides, clay minerals have antimicrobial properties that can be used to attenuate pathogenic microorganisms from aqueous systems. Although several studies have been reported on these materials, the challenge is up-scaling the technologies to field applications. This research will therefore aim at scaling up functional materials-based technologies for field applications.    

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