"Megatonic Opportunities of New Geopolymeric Nanomaterials for Sustainability Applications"
Aluminosilicate geopolymer is one of few inorganic materials that can be produced efficiently in megatons, thus overcoming the tyranny of scale in solving humanity’s problem of sustainability. Recent innovations in geopolymer synthesis have enabled previously unforeseen levels of control over the nanoscopic morphologies and porosity and have demonstrated that the resulting nanomaterials can show performances far superior to other classes of materials. This talk will illustrate some of these advances with examples relevant to sustainability applications. For example, nanoporous geopolymer materials could be produced and used as an excellent arsenic absorbent for ground water purification and as a highly effective biodiesel catalyst. High-structure geopolymer nanoaggregates can be synthesized with controlled zeolicity for polymer nanocomposite applications with excellent energy-saving performances. Highly-crystalline hierarchical zeolites have been discovered to show an exceptional CO2 capacity, sorption kinetics, selectivity and regeneration capability essential for cost-effective CO2 separation. Superior ion exchange kinetics of the material has been observed for silver-ion zeolite with an superb antibacterial efficacy against antibiotics-resistant MRSA bacteria. Their out-of-the-lab usages are currently being realized in industry with future goal of megatonic production.