Bioinspired Materials for Water Harvesting, Purification and Oil-Water Separation


Event details

Date 28.06.2022
Hour 14:0015:00
Speaker Prof. Bharat Bhushan, Academy Professor, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH (USA)
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English

(Talk 3/3 in a mini-series: talk 1 taking place on June 23, talk 2 on June 24, 2022)

Access to a safe supply of water is a human right. However, with growing populations, global warming, and contamination due to human activity, it is one that is increasingly under threat. It is hoped that nature can inspire the creation of materials to aid in the supply and management of water, from water collection and purification to water source clean up and rehabilitation from oil contamination.
Many living species thrive in even the driest places, with some surviving on water harvested from fog1,-3. By studying living species, new materials have been developed to provide a source of fresh water from fog and condensation, to supplement safe water supply for communities across the globe as well as in emergency and defense applications2-5. The water towers have been designed which can be built economically and can be used for long periods with no net energy consumption.
The vast majority of water on Earth is in the oceans. However, current desalination processes are energy intensive. Systems in our own bodies have evolved to transport water efficiently while blocking other molecules and ions. Inspiration can be taken to improve the efficiency of desalination and help purify water containing other contaminants1,2. Finally, oil contamination of water from spills or the fracking technique can result in devastating environmental disasters1,2. By studying how natural surfaces interact with liquids, new techniques can be developed to clean up oil-spills and further protect our most precious resource5,6.

1Brown, P. S. and Bhushan, B., “Bioinspired Materials for Water Supply and Management: Water Collection,
 Water Purification, and Separation of Water from Oil,” Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 374, 20160135 (2016).
2Bhushan, B., Biomimetics: Bioinspired Hierarchical-Structured Surfaces for Green Science and Technology, third ed., Springer (2018).
3Bhushan, B., “Bioinspired Water Collection Methods to Supplement Water Supply,” Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 377, 20190119 (2019).
4Bhushan, B., “Design of Water Harvesting Towers and Projections for Water Collection from Fog and Condensation,” Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 378 20190440 (2020).
5Bhushan, B., Bioinspired Water Harvesting, Purification, and Oil-Water Separation, Springer International, Cham, Switzerland (2020).
6Bhushan, B., “Bioinspired Oil-water Separation Approaches for Oil Spill Cleanup and Water Purification,” Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 377, 20190120 (2019).

Dr. Bharat Bhushan received an M.S. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1971, an M.S. in mechanics and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1973 and 1976, respectively, an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, NY in 1980, Doctor Technicae from the University of Trondheim at Trondheim, Norway in 1990, a Doctor of Technical Sciences from the Warsaw University of Technology at Warsaw, Poland in 1996, Honorary Doctor of Science from the National Academy of Sciences at Gomel, Belarus in 2000, University of Kragujevac, Serbia in 2011, and Honorary Doctorate from University of Tyumen, Russia. He is a registered professional engineer. He is presently an Ohio Eminent Scholar and The Howard D. Winbigler Professor in the College of Engineering, Director of the Nanoprobe Laboratory for Bio- & Nanotechnology and Biomimetics (NLB2), and affiliated faculty in John Glenn College of Public Affairs at the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. In 2013-14, he served as ASME/AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, House Committee on Science, Space & Technology, United States Congress, Washington, DC. He has served as Expert Investigator on IP related issues in the U.S. and International Courts. His research interests include fundamental studies with a focus on scanning probe techniques in the interdisciplinary areas of bio/nanotribology, bio/nanomechanics and bio/nanomaterials characterization and applications to bio/nanotechnology, and biomimetics. He is an internationally recognized expert of bio/nanotribology and bio/nanomechanics using scanning probe microscopy, and biomimetics. He is considered by some one of the pioneers of the tribology and mechanics of magnetic storage devices, nanotribology, and biomimetics. He is one of the most prolific authors. He has authored 10 scientific books, 100+ handbook chapters, 900+ scientific papers (One of Google Scholar’s 1494 Highly Cited Researchers in All Fields (h>100), h-index - 130+ with 80k+ citations, i10-index - 780+; Fourth Highly Cited Researcher in Mechanical Eng.; Web of Science h-index - 98+; Scopus h-index - 105+; ISI Highly Cited Researcher in Materials Science since 2007 and in Biology and Biochemistry, 2013; ISI Top 5% Cited Authors for Journals in Chemistry, 2011; Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher in Cross-field Category, 2018), and 60+ technical reports. His research was listed as the Top Ten Science Stories of 2015. He has also edited 50+ books and holds more than 25 U.S. and foreign patents. He is co-editor of Springer NanoScience and Technology Series and co-editor of Microsystem Technologies. He has given more than 400 invited presentations on six continents and more than 400 keynote/plenary addresses at major international conferences. He delivered a TEDx 2019 lecture on Lessons from Nature.

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