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September 25, 2015Since Man forged the first plow and stuck it into the earth, rust has been an enemy. But to Ram Gupta, an assistant professor and research scientist at Pittsburg State University, rust, or iron oxide, may be one of the keys to a world powered by inexpensive, abundant and environmentally friendly energy.
Gupta, who came to PSU in 2013 as part of the university’s Polymer Chemistry Initiative, teaches undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Chemistry and conducts research in labs located in the Kansas Polymer Research Center at PSU. One focus of his research is on green energy production and storage using bio-waste, nanomaterials and 2D layer structured materials.
“I grew up in India in an area in which we got just four or five hours of electricity a day,” Gupta said. “That’s one of the reasons for my interest in energy.”
Gupta and the other scientists in PSU’s Polymer Chemistry Initiative think and work on scales that most people can only imagine. For example, a student researcher working under Gupta’s guidance recently developed a method to synthesize cost effectively iron oxide nanocrystals for energy storage applications. The average size of the nanocrystals they developed was estimated to be eight nanometers. That compares to the thickness of a sheet of paper, which is about 100,000 nanometers.
The research appeared in the New Journal of Chemistry, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Continue reading >>
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