(176b) Energy and Nanomaterials: Interfacial Intersection

Authors: 
Vander Wal, R. L., Pennsylvania State University
With energy at the forefront of the national economy and security energy-directed applications are of particular interest. Not surprisingly, energy and materials are intimately related. Many forms of energy utilization, conversion and storage and generation are dominated by interfacial chemistry. Therein nanomaterials as an interfacial modifier can play a critical role in these processes.

Specific energy applications we have explored include the following:

1) Storage: Increased energy density in Li ion batteries and supercapacitors using carbon nanotubes

2) Efficiency: Reduced friction using nanolubricants between moving parts

3) Transfer: Improved thermal management using nanofluids in heat transfer applications

4) Conservation: Lightweight polymeric composites incorporating nanotubes, nanoclays and graphene oxide for vehicle composites

5) Control: Gas sensors based on nanoscale metal oxide semi-conductors for process control and monitoring

6) Generation: Catalysts and photocatalysts using nanostructured oxides for accelerated charge transfer and minimal recombination losses

Highlights in each application will be presented.

Though synthesis of a host of carbon and metal oxide nanomaterials has been demonstrated, their integration into practical applications remains highly challenging. This talk will provide an overview of their synthesis, integration and value in energy storage, conservation, transfer, efficiency, control and generation. Alternative, scalable synthesis approaches such as flame synthesis and associated laser-based optical diagnostics will be touched upon.