CIRE2N seeks to educate in nanotechnology and nanosciences by leveraging existing research facilities and local resources. Currently research efforts are based in a polluted marsh located at Las Cucharillas, a coastal wetland reserve in Cataño, Puerto Rico managed by Corredor del Yaguazo Inc.; a community-based NGO (non-governmental organization) that has a cooperative agreement with UPR-Río Piedras and Puma Energy. This will facilitate the development of nanotechnology and knowledge transfer through training student and faculty in S&T entrepreneurship and commercialization to support financial sustainability, public education, and outreach.
Integration: Testing, Device Prototype Design, and Fabrication
IRG2 will combine their expertise on synthesis and device fabrication techniques to develop an advanced autonomous and low power consumption device. The prototype will be then operated in the zone of El Yaguazo marsh for field performance evaluation, feedback, and final tuning.
Ammonia Alkaline Fuel Cell
The main objectives of this subproject are geared toward addressing challenges in: (1) Synthesis of nanocatalyst coated membrane (CCM) that enables better catalyst utilization under real fuel cell conditions. (2) Developing more stable facet selective Pt-based nanocatalysts and other novel nanocatalysts with high performance. (3) Assembling more durable alkaline membranes [...]
Urea Microbial Fuel Cells
UPR has successfully developed a bio-electrochemical method using urease for wastewater treatment. Urease is an enzyme that catalyzes the ureolysis reaction and has been used to remove urea. The objective of this project is to obtain a urea/ammonia free solution that can be later treated by reverse osmosis to eliminate [...]
Development of pH switchable polymer nanofibers for the recovery of polyphenolic compounds.
The occurrence of polyphenolic compounds such as tannic acid, gallic acid, catechol, and others is common in wetlands like Las Cucharillas. These polyphenols can be applied in the creation of a wide range of materials such as plastics, resisns, and adhesives. The main goal of this sub-project is to recover [...]
Metal phthalocyanines (MPc).
The aim in this sub-project is to test MPc with different substitutions and metal centers for sensing a variety of gases. Four different types of sensors are proposed to be tested at the Yaguazo marsh: Systems from unsubstituted MPc Platforms from substituted MPc with three different types of substitutions: fluorinated [...]
A synergistic combination of algal wastewater treatment, hydrothermal biofuel production and fabrication of algal base nanomaterials.
A synergistic combination of algal wastewater treatment, hydrothermal biofuel production, and fabrication of algal base nanomaterials. The physical and chemical methods used for the generation of nanomaterials have various drawbacks such as high cost of production, requiring, high energy input and generation of toxic byproducts. To overcome these limitations, several [...]
Novel Metal Oxide Semiconductor (MOS) Heterostructures for highly sensitive gas sensors.
MOS are widely used gas sensing materials due to their low cost, wide range of detectable gases, and chemical stability at the operation conditions. IRG2 will tailor the synthesis of new nano composite MOS materials including (but not limited to): SnO2, ZnO, TiO2, WO3, and CuO. These materials will be [...]
The objective for this project is the design and fabrication of multifunctional hybrid 2D materials with enhanced selectivity and sensitivity as well as high humidity resistance for the detection of the target pollutant gases (including but not limited to) NH3, NO2, NO, and CO. The team will conduct several tasks [...]
Nano zero valent iron, core-shell-Fe0/FexOy nanoparticles for remediation of heavy metals in wetland soil, and its reusability for energy applications.
The main goal of this subproject is to understand the behavior of the interaction of plants and nZVI for in situ applications in contaminated wetlands soils, a process known as phytonanoremediation. The subproject will consist of three parts: 1) eco- hydrologic assessment of the wetland 2) bioprospecting of heavy [...]