Environmental applications of poly(amic acid)-based nanomaterials

Veronica A. Okello, Nian Du, Boling Deng, Omowunmi A. Sadik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Nanoscale materials offer new possibilities for the development of novel remediation and environmental monitoring technologies. Different nanoscale materials have been exploited for preventing environmental degradation and pollutant transformation. However, the rapid self-aggregation of nanoparticles or their association with suspended solids or sediments where they could bioaccumulate supports the need for polymeric coatings to improve mobility, allows faster site cleanups and reduces remediation cost. The ideal material must be able to coordinate different nanomaterials functionalities and exhibit the potential for reusability. We hereby describe two novel environmental applications of nanostructured poly (amic acid)-based (nPAA) materials. In the first application, nPAA was used as both reductant and stabilizer during the in situ chemical reduction of chromium(vi) to chromium(iii). Results showed that Cr(vi) species were rapidly reduced within the concentration range of 10 -1 to 102 mM with efficiency of 99.9% at 40 °C in water samples and 90% at 40 °C in soil samples respectively. Furthermore, the presence of PdNPs on the PAA-Au electrode was found to significantly enhance the rate of reduction. In the second application, nPAA membranes were tested as filters to capture, isolate and detect nanosilver. Preliminary results demonstrate the capability of the nPAA membranes to quantitatively capture nanoparticles from suspension and quantify their abundance on the membranes. Silver nanoparticles detection at concentrations near the toxic threshold of silver was also demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1236-1245
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Monitoring
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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