While the global climate heats up, so does the conversation on sustainability and the need for alternative energy and fuel resources. Dr. Robert Mayanovic, assistant department head of physics, astronomy, and materials science at Missouri State University, brings new hope to the topic as he has helped to discover a porous metal-oxide that could potentially be used as an alternative to traditional energy and fuel resources.
“Basically, we are looking for ways to develop materials that can be used in the future to harness conventional or alternate energy sources in a more sustainable fashion than what materials offer today,” said Mayanovic. “The first phase of the project is to test the stability of the materials in extreme environments.”
Using a large x-ray machine called a synchrotron, which allows the materials to be probed down to the atomic level, Mayanovic and colleagues Dr. Sonal Dey of Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, and Dr. Ridwan Sakidja, associate professor of physics, astronomy, and materials science at Missouri State, found the porous metal-oxide (tungsten oxide) to be very stable under high temperatures and nominal pressures in water.
“Once this particular metal-oxide porous material is further modified to have excellent catalytic properties, it may potentially be used to break down bio-matter waste to liberate hydrogen and methane so that these gasses could be used as energy sources,” Mayanovic adds.
Initially collaborating with other scientists from the Energy Frontier Research in Extreme Environments Center (EFree), Mayanovic now continues to develop his research on tungsten oxide, hoping to provide the world with a new means to sustain the planet. Most recently, Mayanovic had the opportunity to be published in “Nanoscale”, a peer reviewed scientific journal that covers experimental and theoretical research in all areas of nanotechnology and nanoscience.