Environmental Nanotechnology Research Group (ENRG)

Environmental Nanotechnology research group was established in 2015 focusing on development of novel, sunlight active and environmental friendly nanomaterials. Because of their sub-micron size (<100 nm) nanomaterials bear exceptional optoelectronic properties, high surface activates and huge surface-to-volume ratios compared to the materials in bulk. Such outstanding properties of novel nanostructured materials make them ideal for environmental applications.


The research interests of Dr. Jamshaid Rashid’s research group include:

  1. Advance Wastewater Treatment
    1. Visible Light Photocatalysis: Non-selective and destructive elimination of toxic, recalcitrant and emerging contaminants present in wastewater. Semiconductor materials, metal oxide nanocomposites and supported thin films are synthesized for visible and sunlight photocatalytic treatment. The nanomaterials are tailored to overcome issues like photocatalyst agglomeration, post operation recovery/reuse, electron-hole pair (e-/h+) recombination and UV light dependence.
    2. Advance Adsorption Processes: Physical removal of metal and organic priority contaminants by developing green adsorbents from biomass derived activated carbon to fabrication of novel composite carbon nanotubes. Adsorbent surface modifications best suited for high adsorbent capacities is the primary goal while use of earth abundant materials in adsorbent fabrication ensures both environmental and economic efficiency.
  • Antibacterial ctivities and Algal bloom reduction: Metallic nanoparticles and visible light responsive photocatalyst nanomaterials show notable aligicidal and bactericidal activities because of the huge surface areas and surface reactivity. Engineered nanomaterials act as novel antimicrobial agents that target cell membrane of the resistant microbes and can potentially help eliminate harmful algal blooms.
  1. Water Photo-electrocatalysis

Water splitting has emerged as a green and renewable energy resource for the production of hydrogen that can be directly fed to fuel cells for the production of electricity. However, the scarcity of benchmark photo-electrocatalysts subsides their commercial use. Recently, attempts have been made to design robust photo-electrocatalysts from earth-abundant materials to reduce overpotential for both hydrogen evolution reactions (HER) and oxygen evolution reactions (OER). Binary and ternary composites of g-C3N4, reduced graphene oxide and recovered metal electrodes are explored with promising overall water splitting.

  1. Nanomaterials for Biomass Conversion

This research area deals with exploration of nanomaterials for photocatalytic pre-treatment of biomass to enhance conversion to biofuel. The photocatalytic pre-treatment is known to accelerate the hydrolysis during the biodegradation of rice husk and subsequently increase the CH4 yield. Our research group has also demonstrated significant increase in disruption of resilient algal cell walls both in visible and UV light without damaging the lipids thus maintaining product integrity. Furthermore, photocatalytic pre-treatment can be explored for simultaneous harvesting of algal cells considerably reducing the process energy requirements.

Projects completed since 2015:

  • *) Synthesis of bifunctional 3d RGO-NiCo electrocatalyst by solvothermal method for hydrogen production using electrolysis.
  • *) Growth inhibition of cyanobacteria using visible light driven nano- photocatalysts.
  • *) Synthesis and application of Metal-Oxychloride/Graphite Oxide nanocomposite for the visible light photocatalytic degradation of Diclofenac Sodium.
  • *) Green synthesis of Co and Ni nanoparticles using Berberis lyceum leaf extracts for evaluation of their antibacterial activity.
  • *) Fabrication and application of visible light assisted ZnS nanocomposites for degradation of 2,4,6 trichlorophenol in wastewater.
  • *) Photocatalytic pre-treatment of freshwater microalgae for enhanced biomass to biodiesel conversion.
  • *) Photocatalytic pre-treatment of rice husk for enhancing conversion into biogas via anaerobic digestion.
  • *) Synthesis and application of molybdenum oxide modified graphitic carbon nitride as an efficient adsorbent for the removal of diclofenac sodium from wastewater.
  • *) Adsorptive removal of aqueous methylene blue dye by soapnut seed hulls activated carbon modified by silver nanoparticles.
  • *) Green synthesis of magnetically recoverable surfactant modified activated carbon from Bombax ceibacapsule cover for treatment of metal contaminated water.
  • *) Magnetically separable and visible light driven photocatalyst for the treatment of 2-chlorophenol contaminated wastewater.
  • *) Design and application of ZnS/MoO3 nanocomposite for treatment of hazardous dyes contaminated wastewater.
  • *) Synthesis of II-VI semiconductor nanocomposite for visible light photocatalytic mineralization of pharmaceutical contaminants in wastewater.
  • *) Modified multiwall carbon nanotubes for the removal of heavy metals in wastewater.
  • *) Green synthesis of activated carbon from pumpkin peels for decolourization of hazardous dyes in wastewater.
  • *) Sunlight assisted photocatalytic degradation of model dye pollutants in wastewater using modified nanomaterials.


Publications of ENRG

  1. *) Facile Synthesis of g-C3N4/MoO3 Nanohybrid for Efficient Removal of Aqueous Diclofenac Sodium. Nanomaterials (Impact Factor 076). 2021. Volume 11, Page No. 1564.
  2. *) Synthesis of Zinc oxide and Silver nanoparticles using Ficus palmata – Forssk leaf extracts and assessment of antibacterial activity. Environmental Engineering Research (Impact Factor: 507). 2021. Volume 26, Page Number 12 – 19.
  3. *) A facile synthesis of bismuth oxychloride-graphene oxide composite for visible light photocatalysis of aqueous diclofenac sodium. Scientific Reports (Impact Factor: 379). 2020. Volume 10, Article No: 14191.
  4. *) Butterfly cluster like lamellar BiOBr/TiO2 nanocomposite for enhanced sunlight photocatalytic mineralization of aqueous ciprofloxacin. Science of the Total Environment (Impact Factor: 963). 2019. Volume 665, Page No. 668-677.
  5. *) Synthesis using natural functionalization of activated carbon from pumpkin peels for decolourization of aqueous Methylene blue. Science of the Total Environment (Impact Factor: 963). 2019. Volume 671: Page No. 369-376.
  6. *) Facile synthesis of g-C361+2.9514(0.94)/CeO2(0.05)/Fe3O4(0.01) nanosheets for DFT supported visible photocatalysis of 2-Chlorophenol. Scientific Reports (Impact Factor: 4.379). 2019. Volume 9: Page No. 10202.
  7. *) Sulfonated Polyether Sulfone Reinforced Multiwall Carbon Nanotubes Composite for the Removal of Lead in Wastewater. Applied Nanoscience (Impact Factor: 674). 2019. Volume 9: Page No. 1695–1705.
  8. *) Development of plant-microbe phytoremediation system for petroleum hydrocarbon degradation: An insight from alkb gene expression and phytotoxicity analysis. Science of the Total Environment (Impact Factor: 963). 2019. Volume 671, Page No. 696-704.
  9. *) One-pot Synthesis of Heterobimetallic Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOF) for Multifunctional Catalysis. Chemistry – A European Journal. (Impact Factor: 236). 2019. Volume 25, Page No. 10490-10498.
  10. *) Synthesis and characterization of S-doped-rGO/ZnS nanocomposite for the photocatalytic degradation of 2-chlorophenol and disinfection of real dairy wastewater. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, (Impact Factor:291). 2019. Volume 377, Pages 190-197.
  11. *) g-C3N4/CeO2/Fe3O4 Ternary Composite as an Efficient Bifunctional Catalyst for Overall Water Splitting. ChemCatChem (Impact Factor: 686). 2018. Volume 10, Page No. 5587–5592.
  12. *) Stabilized fabrication of anatase-TiO2/FeS2 (pyrite) semiconductor composite nanocrystals for enhanced solar light-mediated photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue. RSC Advances (Impact Factor: 361). 2018. Volume 8, Page No. 11935– 11945.