Environmental Engineering students earn praise for research on nanomaterials

From left to right: Tabassum, Masud and Jarin

By Peter Murphy

Published December 2, 2019

One undergraduate and two graduate students in environmental engineering presented research at the Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization (SNO) conference, last month.

Removing pollutants and contaminants

Environmental engineering MS student Anika Tabassum, PhD candidate Arvid Masud and undergraduate Mourin Jarin, all students working with assistant professor Nirupam, Aich, represented UB in the SNO poster competition. Tabassum earned second place in the competition, and she received the SNO Student Award.

Her research, 3D Print-Assisted Graphene Aerogels for Water Contaminant Removal, demonstrates how researchers can use 3D printed carbon-based nanomaterials (i.e., graphene) for water treatment. Tabassum performed her research through a collaboration between the Aich Laboratory for Environmental Nanotechnology and Sustainability (AichLENS) and Industrial and Systems Engineering associate professor Chi Zhou’s research group.

Masud and Jarin each presented research at the conference as well, and both of them worked with Chemistry professor Diana Aga and the AichLENS group. Masud’s research investigates the use of graphene-iron nanohybrids to remove emerging water pollutants like pharmaceuticals and antidepressants, that are polluting the Great Lakes and other bodies of water.

Jarin’s research is also associated with graphene-iron nanohybrids, and examines how these substances can removing perfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) from water sources. Despite being a common ingredient in non-stick frying pans and firefighting foams, PFAS contains carcinogens and has been found in different water sources.

Masud served as mentor to both Tabassum and Jarin, and actively collaborated with each of them on their research projects.

The conference was held in San Diego, California, last month.