Dr. Priyanka Sharma Won 2020 Young Academic Inventor’s Award
Priyanka Sharma, PhD, Research Scientist, Department of Chemistry (PhD 2014, CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune India, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Chemistry, Stony Brook University) won the award “for her inventions leading to the development of nitro-oxidation method to extract nanocellulose from raw biomass, which drastically decreases the consumption of energy, chemicals and water.”
Nanoscale cellulose materials obtained from the chemical treatment of biomass are very effective agents for the removal of toxic species from water, including heavy metal ions. Professor Benjamin S. Hsiao and his collaborators at Stony Brook University have developed a simple, inexpensive and environmentally friendly approach to preparing nanostructured cellulose for water purification, based on a nitro-oxidation reaction carried out on biomasses of diverse origins. In addition to providing cellulose with a superior affinity for dissolved toxic ions, this process yields nitrogen-rich salts as byproducts, which can be recovered and used as fertilizers.