Postdoctoral Researcher, Max-Planck Institute Of Colloids And Interfaces
Neda Keshavarzi completed graduate studies in Chemistry and received a Ph.D in Materials Chemistry in 2014 from Stockholm University with the title of "Structuring Porous Adsorbents and Composites for Gas Separation and Odor Removal". Worked on structuring Cellulose nanofibrils into free-standing foams with high unidirectional mechanical stability using freeze-casting as the forming method. In August 2015 started working as postdoctoral research associate at Max-Planck institute for colloids in collaboration with Evonik industries to develop new catalysts for energy storage application.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are the origin of the fetid smell released from decomposition products and natural sources e.g. fruits, vegetables, body fluids and cat litter. Free standing and strong odor-removing composite films of cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) with a high content of nanoporous zeolite adsorbents have been colloidally processed. Thermogravimetric desorption analysis (TGA) and infrared spectroscopy combined with computational simulations showed that commercially available silicalite-1 and ZSM-5 have a high affinity and uptake of polar volatile odors like ethanethiol and propanethiol, also in the presence of water. Highly flexible and strong free standing zeolite-CNF films with an adsorbent loading of 90 w/w% have been produced by Ca-induced gelation and vacuum filtration. The CNF-network controls the strength of the composite films and 100 _m thick zeolite-CNF films with a CNF content of less than 10 vol% displayed a tensile strength approaching 10 MPa. Headspace solid phase microextraction (SPME) coupled to gas chromatography- mass spectroscopy (GC/MS) analysis showed that the CNF-zeolite films can eliminate the volatile thiol-based odors to concentrations below the detection ability of the human olfactory system. Odor removing zeolite-cellulose nanofibril films could enable improved transport and storage of fruits and vegetables rich in odors and can be further optimized for odor removal in various applications.