Using graphene-based hybrid materials to tackle water pollution

person using jar to collect stream water

Waste water has various pollutants made up of organic and inorganic compounds. Organic compounds need to be removed from water bodies due to their higher carcinogenic and mutagenic characteristics, which have health impacts on people.

The Newton-Bhabha Fund supported PhD student Parameshwari Ramalingam to carry out a six-month research internship with the Electrochemical and Nanotechnology Research Group at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK.

Parameshwari investigated the photocatalytic and electrochemical properties of graphene-zinc oxide nanocomposites, and their dual role as photocatalyst to degrade organic pollutants using visible light and antimicrobial agents against bacterial pathogens that possibly available in waste water. She used graphene oxide and graphene-palladium nanoparticles in the detection of environmentally hazardous pollutants using electrochemical and surface enhanced Raman spectroscopic sensing techniques respectively.

This work will impact on the waste water management process where one can easily harvest both organic pollutant degradation and antimicrobial activity against bacteria or other microbial systems which spread a number of diseases in humans.

Synergistic electron adaption in graphene hybrids paves the horizon for photo-electrochemical waste water purification and sensing of toxics.

Parameshwari Ramalingam

This project was shortlisted for the Newton Prize 2017

Investigations on Photocatalytic and Electrochemical Properties of Graphene Based Hybrids

Project leads: Parameshwari Ramalingam, PhD student at Bharathidasan University in Tamil Nadu, India and Professor Craig E Banks, Electrochemical and Nanotechnology Research Group at the Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Project partners: British Council and the Department of Science and Technology, India

SDG goals icons - Clean water and sanitation