The close relationship between energy and water is of increasing interest to the academic, business, environmental and public policy sectors, especially since nowadays water availability is already impacting on the development of new energy sources. With increasing population, demands on the limited water resources and energy services threaten to push the limits of what our environment can sustain. Another reason to pay attention to the link between energy and water is the climate change, which can result in significant changes in rainfall patterns, with all that implies modifying the availability of water and of the energy derived from water. In this context, the greatest challenge is to obtain new composite materials that can be used both in water cleaning processes as in alternative devices for energy conversion and storage. Historically, the carbonaceous materials have met this demand in both sectors individually. However, this project seeks the production, characterization and application of a basic composite material that can be used both as a high-performance electrode for the detection/removal of pesticides in water cleaning processes, as well as electrodes in electrochemical supercapacitors or capacitors type I. It is initially proposed the growth and characterization of boron doped nanodiamond films on carbon fiber (NDDB/FC). At a later stage, the NDDB/FC composites will be used for the chemical synthesis of polyaniline (PAni) forming a three-phase material PAni/NDDB/FC. The great challenge of this proposal is to show that this three-phase compound meets the demand of application in the context of interconnection between water and energy. During the deposition process of PAni films in NDDB/FC, we intend to vary the PAni concentrations in order to determine the ideal ratio of the composite constituent materials allowing its use in terms of stability (minimizing and/or delaying the degradation processes of the conductive polymer). Considering the importance of the electrochemical interfaces, this project proposes a thorough characterization of the composites, mainly of the particles dimensions and/or the interactions among its constituents, aiming the enhancing of the composites properties in relation to their constituent materials. Morphological characterization will be performed using the techniques of scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy, while the structural analysis will be obtained by Raman scattering spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The electrochemical characterizations will be obtained by cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and charge/discharge tests. The two processes, of conversion and storage of energy as well as detection/removal of pesticides, will be studied in electrochemical cell using a Potentiostat/Galvanostat. In electrochemical detection/removal process, performed by square wave voltammetry, the results will be validated with other analytical techniques such as ion chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography and/or polarography.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: