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Innovative Materials for Environmental Sustainability: Novel Approaches to Sustainable Materials
04:30pm - 06:20pm USA / Canada - Eastern - August 23, 2021 | Room: Zoom Room 39
Alexander Orlov, Organizer, Presider, Materials Science Engineerin; Rafael Luque, Organizer, Universidad de Cordoba
Division: [ENVR] Division of Environmental Chemistry
Session Type: Oral - Virtual
Division/Committee: [ENVR] Division of Environmental Chemistry

Improving the quality of human life without depleting the natural resources is the focus of environmental sustainability. This challenging task requires new approaches in designing new materials that can either have a reduced environmental footprint or contribute to environmental improvements, or preferably both. The focus of this symposium is to highlight the latest science and engineering that can have a transformative impact on our planet. Examples of innovative materials science and engineering can include the latest developments in more sustainable concrete synthesis and production, a new generation of air purifying and self-cleaning surfaces, advanced environmental catalysts, synthesis of novel eco-friendly materials for environmental remediation, conversion of organic waste into biodegradable plastic and other pioneering themes. Moreover, additional topics related to development of more efficient and environmentally friendly materials for sustainable energy production will also be included in this symposium.

Monday
Introductory Remarks
04:30pm - 04:35pm USA / Canada - Eastern - August 23, 2021 | Room: Zoom Room 39
Division: [ENVR] Division of Environmental Chemistry
Session Type: Oral - Virtual

Monday
Computational and experimental design of solvents for CO2 capture
04:35pm - 05:00pm USA / Canada - Eastern - August 23, 2021 | Room: Zoom Room 39
Division: [ENVR] Division of Environmental Chemistry
Session Type: Oral - Virtual
At current rates of emission, the carbon budget for 1.5°C is running out in less than 10 years. Existing energy generating infrastructure, if operated at historical levels, will use up most of that budget. We thus need to decommission these power plants early or capture the carbon that they emit. Further, pathways to reach net zero targets by 2050 include negative emissions and carbon capture for hard to decarbonize industries. According to the IEA, carbon capture technologies still face challenges in optimizing their stability, fouling, emissions, regeneration energy requirements, selectivity, and CO2 binding capacity. Discovery of new materials can take on the order of 10 years or more, therefore we must accelerate the discovery process in order to create viable carbon capture technologies to meet critical CO2 emissions targets and mitigate climate change. Here we focus on creating an AI-based pipeline for accelerating discovery of new liquid sorbents for CO2 capture. Using cloud-based containerized computational chemistry workflows, we are building a predictive model of CO2 capture properties, ranking candidate materials, and filtering these materials using a parallelized CO2-capture assay platform. The adaptive filtering approach identifies and tests both single and blended sorbents, generating CO2 binding capacity, kinetics, and other physical chemical parameters. These data are delivered back to the model to improve its predictive capabilities with the end goal of generating new materials and solvent blends with improved performance for carbon capture.
Monday
Physical membrane-stress-mediated antimicrobial properties of cellulose nanocrystals
05:00pm - 05:20pm USA / Canada - Eastern - August 23, 2021 | Room: Zoom Room 39
Division: [ENVR] Division of Environmental Chemistry
Session Type: Oral - Virtual
Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) have emerged as a sustainable nanomaterial for several environmental applications, including the development of novel antimicrobial agents. Although previous studies have reported antibacterial activity for CNCs, their toxicity mechanism to bacterial cells is still unknown. Here, we investigate the toxicity of CNCs dispersed in water and coated surfaces against Escherichia coli cells. CNC-coated surfaces were able to inactivate approximately 90% of the attached E. coli cells, confirming potential of CNCs to be applied as a sustainable and cost-effective antibiofouling nanomaterial. The toxicity of CNCs in a suspension was concentration-dependent, and an inhibitory concentration (IC50%) of 200 μg/mL was found. Glutathione and 2′,7′-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (H2DCFA) assays were conducted to evaluate the role of oxidative stress in the CNC toxicity mechanism. Our findings showed that oxidative stress has no significant effect on the antimicrobial activity of CNC. In contrast, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images and a leakage assay performed with dye-encapsulated phospholipid vesicles indicated that CNCs inactivate bacteria by physically damaging their cell membrane. CNC interaction with dye-encapsulated vesicles resulted in a dye leakage corresponding to 43% of the maximum value, thus confirming that contact-mediated membrane stress is the mechanism governing the toxicity of CNCs to bacteria cells
Monday
Bridging three gaps in biodegradable plastics: Misconceptions and truths about biodegradation
05:20pm - 05:40pm USA / Canada - Eastern - August 23, 2021 | Room: Zoom Room 39
Division: [ENVR] Division of Environmental Chemistry
Session Type: Oral - Virtual
In the wake of plastic pollution increasing around the world, biodegradable plastics are one of the fastest-growing segments within the global plastics market. The biodegradation of these plastics depends on diverse factors including, but not limited to, the physicochemical structure of the materials, environmental conditions, and the microbial populations involved in the biodegradation. Although laboratory-based biodegradation tests simulate natural processes, they cannot precisely mimic the natural biodegradation of biodegradable plastics due to the disparity of several factors. In addition, the biodegradation levels claimed and/or reported by individuals and studies in different environments vary to a great extent. Biodegradable plastics are being promoted as an eco-friendlier choice for consumers. However, biodegradable plastics might not be as biodegradable as commonly believed. This presentation aims to elucidate the common misconceptions and truths about biodegradation: i) the gaps among their reported biodegradation level of biodegradable plastics; ii) the gaps between the biodegradation conditions in the controlled laboratory system and in the natural environment; and iii) the gaps between public perception and the actual environmental fate of biodegradable products. These misconceptions will be critically reviewed with feasible solutions.

Monday
Withdrawn
05:40pm - 06:00pm USA / Canada - Eastern - August 23, 2021 | Room: Zoom Room 39
Division: [ENVR] Division of Environmental Chemistry
Session Type: Oral - Virtual

Monday
Discussion
06:00pm - 06:15pm USA / Canada - Eastern - August 23, 2021 | Room: Zoom Room 39
Division: [ENVR] Division of Environmental Chemistry
Session Type: Oral - Virtual

Monday
Concluding Remarks
06:15pm - 06:20pm USA / Canada - Eastern - August 23, 2021 | Room: Zoom Room 39
Division: [ENVR] Division of Environmental Chemistry
Session Type: Oral - Virtual