EPFL chemists have developed a new material that can remove heavy metals from water and make it drinkable in seconds.
The study is published in ACS Central Science.
According to the World Health Organization almost 1 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water, and that number is expected to increase with climate change. Meanwhile, our endlessly rising energy needs and use of heavy metals in industrial processes have maximized our exposure to toxic materials in water.
Current commercial methods to remove heavy metals including lead from municipal drinking water tend to be costly and energy-consuming, without being sufficiently efficient. Less conventional approaches might be more efficient, but are single-use, difficult to regenerate, or produce significant toxic waste as a side-product.
Now, the lab of Professor Wendy Lee Queen at EPFL, with colleagues at the University of California Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found a solution using metal organic frameworks (MOFs), which are materials made up of metal nodes interlinked by organic chemical ‘struts’. Their unprecedented internal surface areas and easy chemical tunability allow MOFs to “pull” water vapor and other gases from air. These same features make them promising materials also for selectively removing heavy metals from water.
A PhD student at EPFL-Valais, Daniel T. Sun, has designed a water-stable MOF/polymer composite using cheap, environmentally and biologically friendly materials. The scientists treated a MOF, known as Fe-BTC, with dopamine, which polymerized to polydopamine (PDA) pinning the polymer inside the MOF. The final composite, named Fe-BTC/PDA, can quickly and selectively remove high amounts of heavy metals like lead and mercury from real-world water samples. In fact, it can remove over 1.6 times its own weight of mercury and 0.4 times of its weight of lead.
Fe-BTC/PDA was then tested in solutions as toxic as some of the worst water samples found in Flint, Michigan. The tests showed that the MOF can, in a matter of seconds, reduce lead concentrations to 2 parts per billion, a level that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and World Health Organization deem drinkable.
The scientists also removed lead from various real-world water samples obtained from the Rhone River, the Mediterranean Sea, and a wastewater treatment plant in Switzerland. They also showed how the material could be regenerated easily.
There are multiple sources of exposure to toxic heavy metals. For example, lead is used in paint, ceramic glazes, jewelry, toys, and pipes. Considering this, the approach with the new MOF shows much promise for solving current limitations of water-cleaning systems. The authors of the study are now testing other new specially designed MOFs to remove other types of trace contaminants in water and air.
Learn more: Removing heavy metals from water
The Latest on: Heavy metals
via Google News
The Latest on: Heavy metals
- City of Austin drops lawsuit against firefighter diagnosed with cancer on September 18, 2018 at 3:02 pm
AUSTIN (KXAN) — The city of Austin has dropped the lawsuit over workers' comp against Carrie Stewart, an Austin firefighter diagnosed with cancer. KXAN's Kylie McGivern confirmed Tuesday afternoon the ... […]
- Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald lends hand to support friend diagnosed with cancer on September 18, 2018 at 10:35 am
Larry Fitzgerald will pay for your meal Tuesday at Casella’s Italian Delicatessen in Scottsdale. The Arizona Cardinals wide receiver is lending a hand to support Joe and Tina Casella, the owners of th... […]
- The Diagnosis and Management of Retroperitoneal Sarcoma on September 18, 2018 at 10:08 am
Cancer. 2017;123:560-7. 8. Wilkinson MJ ... Soft tissue and visceral sarcomas: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Ann Oncol. 2014;25(suppl 3):iii102-iii112. 18. ... […]
- MY DYING BRIDE Singer Opens Up About 5-Year-Old Daughter's Cancer Diagnosis on September 18, 2018 at 8:01 am
Vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe of U.K. doom metal veterans MY DYING BRIDE has opened up about the circumstances that led to the cancelation of the band's four festival appearances in late 2017. At the tim... […]
- Pathology staff shortages causing delays to cancer diagnosis, says report on September 18, 2018 at 7:22 am
The workforce census by the Royal College of Pathologists revealed that just 3 in 100 departments have enough staff to meet clinical demand. The report concludes that staff shortages are ... […]
- MMA Fighter Norifumi 'Kid' Yamamoto Dies at 41 Following Cancer Diagnosis on September 18, 2018 at 5:55 am
Former UFC fighter Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto died Monday at the age of 41 after recently announcing he had been diagnosed with cancer. According to The Independent, Yamamoto was receiving treatment ... […]
- Kim Neace: What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer? on September 17, 2018 at 7:30 pm
All women are at risk for ovarian cancer and 1 in 70 women will develop this disease over their lifetime. Some women may have personal or familial factors that can further increase this risk. […]
- Kids buy back dad's 1993 Ford Mustang that he sold when his wife was diagnosed with cancer on September 17, 2018 at 1:40 pm
Wesley Ryan used to be known around San Antonio for his beloved 1993 Ford Mustang, which he called Christine. He named the iconic car after the 1983 move of the same name, and his daughter says the ho... […]
- A year after cancer diagnosis, Julee Paradee returns to St. Joseph's lineup on September 14, 2018 at 6:23 pm
Julee Paradee is making the most of her return to the St. Joseph girls volleyball team after missing last season due to a cancer diagnosis that resulted in the removal of one of her kidneys. The junio... […]
via Bing News