Scientists developed new low-cost material for reducing waste-water

Vastavam Web: Scientists have developed a new low-cost and sustainable material that may displace activated carbon as the preferred choice for reducing waste-water and air pollution.The material, described in the journal Frontiers in Chemistry, is synthesised inexpensively from solid wastes and a naturally abundant polymer.This paper shows the simple synthesis of a new porous hybrid material, obtained by using low cost and by-product materials,” said Elza Bontempi from the University of Brescia in Italy.

“The material was designed on the basis of The European Commission’s request to develop an affordable, sustainable and innovative design-driven material solution that can reduce the concentration of particulate matter in urban areas,” said Bontempi.Researchers combined a naturally abundant raw material, sodium alginate (a polysaccharide that can be extracted from seaweed and algae) with a high-volume industrial by-product, silica fume to produce a “green” adsorbent that is better than activated carbon.

“The article reports preliminary results about the new material’s capability to capture particulate matter,” said Bontempi.The synthesis method is simple and easy to scale up, researchers said.Taking advantage of the gelling properties of alginate, they combined it with the decomposition of food-grade sodium-bicarbonate (baking soda) to consolidate the material.

Testing of waste-water pollution was performed using methylene blue dye as a model pollutant.