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Issue 15, 2018
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Hierarchically porous, ultra-strong reduced graphene oxide-cellulose nanocrystal sponges for exceptional adsorption of water contaminants

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Abstract

Self-assembly of graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets into porous 3D sponges is a promising approach to exploit their capacity to adsorb contaminants while facilitating the recovery of the nanosheets from treated water. Yet, forming mechanically robust sponges with suitable adsorption properties presents a significant challenge. Ultra-strong and highly porous 3D sponges are formed using GO, vitamin C (VC), and cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) – natural nanorods isolated from wood pulp. CNCs provide a robust scaffold for the partially reduced GO (rGO) nanosheets resulting in an exceptionally stiff nanohybrid. The concentration of VC as a reducing agent plays a critical role in tailoring the pore architecture of the sponges. By using excess amounts of VC, a unique hierarchical pore structure is achieved, where VC grains act as soft templates for forming millimeter-sized pores, the walls of which are also porous and comprised of micron-sized pores. The unique hierarchical pore structure ensures the interconnectivity of pores even at the core of large sponges as evidenced by micro and nano X-ray computed tomography. The unique pore architecture translates into an exceptional specific surface area for adsorption of a wide range of contaminants, such as dyes, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals and cyanotoxin from water.

Graphical abstract: Hierarchically porous, ultra-strong reduced graphene oxide-cellulose nanocrystal sponges for exceptional adsorption of water contaminants

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Dec 2017, accepted on 21 Mar 2018 and first published on 26 Mar 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR09037D
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018,10, 7171-7184
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    Hierarchically porous, ultra-strong reduced graphene oxide-cellulose nanocrystal sponges for exceptional adsorption of water contaminants

    N. Yousefi, K. K. W. Wong, Z. Hosseinidoust, H. O. Sørensen, S. Bruns, Y. Zheng and N. Tufenkji, Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 7171
    DOI: 10.1039/C7NR09037D

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