Ph.D, MSc

Dr. Swarnalatha V. currently serves as Assistant Professor in Chemistry at Department of Sciences, School of Engineering, Coimbatore Campus.


Publication Type: Journal Article

Year of Publication Title


N. Durgadevi and Dr. Swarnalatha V, “Polythiophene functionalized hydrophobic cellulose kitchen wipe sponge and cellulose fabric for effective oil-water separation”, RSC Advances, vol. 7, pp. 34866-34874, 2017.[Abstract]

Development of efficient materials for the separation of oils/organic solvents from water is of prime ecological importance as their negative impact on the aquatic environment is huge. In the present work, for the first time we report the utilization of biodegradable cellulose kitchen wipe sponge as a base material for the oil sorption and cellulose fabric as a filter for the filtration of oil, after functionalization with polythiophene. The water contact angles of the modified cellulose sponge and modified cellulose fabric being 126.6° and 151.6°, respectively substantiate the hydrophobic nature of the materials post modification. Oil absorption kinetic studies show a very rapid saturation period (90 min) for the modified cellulose sponge with a maximum absorption capacity of 7.5 g g-1. By a simple mechanical squeezing process, the absorbed oil/organic solvent is recycled. The sponge is reused for 5 cycles with 70% retention in the initial absorption efficiency. On the other hand, the modified cellulose fabric is used as a continuous filter for a quick separation of oil (and organic solvents) from water. The oil sorbents reported make use of readily available and economically viable base materials with a simple modification which may allow their use for the removal of oil on large scales. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2017.

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Dr. Swarnalatha V and Dhamodharan, R., “A new route to polymeric materials derived from chitosan and natural rubber”, Polymer Bulletin, vol. 72, pp. 2311–2330, 2015.[Abstract]

In this work, the synthesis and characterization of a new polymer, natural rubber-g-chitosan, from biopolymers available in nature is reported. In this process, soft and amorphous natural rubber (NR) is converted into a relatively more dimensionally stable new polymer (glass transition temperature changes from −68 to +94.5 °C), with versatile solubility in a variety of common organic solvents. For this purpose, mild epoxidation of NR is carried out to provide a reactive handle for the grafting of chitosan. Thus, chitosan-grafted natural rubber with different chitosan loading have been synthesized and characterized. The characterization of the new polymers revealed that the grafting process resulted in enhanced glass transition temperature in comparison to NR, remarkable improvement in thermal stability in comparison to NR and chitosan and the much needed solubility for the chitosan component, which is otherwise insoluble in common organic solvents. The NR-g-chitosan is fully amorphous in the solid state, similar to NR. These value-added characteristics promise the utility and processability of the newly synthesized materials in adhesives, packaging industries and in many other areas where natural rubber and chitosan are vitally employed. More »»


Dr. Swarnalatha V, Dhamodharan, R., and Esther, R. Aluri, “Immobilization of α-amylase on gum acacia stabilized magnetite nanoparticles, an easily recoverable and reusable support”, Journal of Molecular Catalysis B: Enzymatic, vol. 96, pp. 6 - 13, 2013.[Abstract]

Abstract In this work, α-amylase is immobilized, using glutaraldehyde, onto magnetite nanoparticles prepared using gum acacia as the steric stabilizer (GA-MN), for the first time. The immobilization of amylase to GA-MN is very fast and the synthesis of GA-MN is very simple. The use of \{GA\} enables higher immobilization of α-amylase (60%), in contrast to the unmodified magnetite nanoparticles (∼20%). The optimum pH and temperature for maximum enzyme activity for the immobilized amylase are identified to be 7.0 and 40 °C, respectively, for the hydrolysis of starch. The kinetic studies confirm the Michaelis–Menten behavior and suggests overall enhancement in the performance of the immobilized enzyme with reference to the free enzyme. Similarly the thermal stability of the enzyme is found to increase after the immobilization. The GA-MN bound amylase has also been demonstrated to be capable of being reused for at least six cycles while retaining ∼70% of the initial activity. By using a magnetically active support, quick separation of amylase from reaction mixture is enabled. The catalytic rate of amylase is actually found to enhance by twofold after the immobilization, which is extremely advantageous in industry. At higher temperature, the immobilized enzyme exhibits higher enzyme activity than that of the free enzyme. More »»


Dr. Swarnalatha V and , “Epoxidized natural rubber-magnetite nanocomposites for oil spill recovery”, J. Mater. Chem. A, vol. 1, pp. 868-876, 2013.[Abstract]

New eco-friendly nanocomposite materials have been synthesized from natural rubber (NR) and magnetite nanoparticles for the first time. The poor oil resistance of natural rubber is exploited for the removal of oil spills. Towards this purpose{,} mildly epoxidized natural rubber (ENR)-magnetite nanoparticle (MN) nanocomposites are prepared and the absorption of petrol (gasoline) is studied. The extent of epoxidation is controlled in such a manner that the NR does not lose its elasticity while retaining to a significant degree its oil absorbing property. Epoxidation also serves as a means for binding sufficient quantity of MNs so that the composite can be recovered using a magnetic field. ENR with 5 mol% of epoxidation served as the best absorbent among all the absorbents studied as it was stable in petrol even after many days of immersion. It is observed that the ENR-MN nanocomposite absorbs 7 g of petrol per gram without any mass loss. The material was reused for several cycles without much loss in the capacity. The petrol uptake of ENR-MN is greater than that of butyl rubber which is the most commercially used rubber for oil spill removal. Porous rubber was also synthesized for the first time as oil uptake is facilitated not only by the hydrophobicity but also by the capillary absorption. Porous ENR absorbed a relatively larger amount of oil and exhibited the highest stability in oil. All the sorbents have quite high absorption capacities to be applied practically with a very low water uptake and a few of the absorbents could be satisfactorily reused. The model studies promise their potential use in the environmental field. More »»

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