Each year, the textile industry around the world uses 1.3 trillion gallons of water to color clothes. Most of this water is filled with toxic chemicals or dyes and flows into rivers and streams without any treatment. That’s why researchers at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) have created a new nanomaterial that can clean fabric dyes and chemicals. Other pollutants from industrial wastewater are increasingly common today
This material consists of small sand-like particles, visible only to the naked eye, that help collect surface contaminants. This is a nanomaterial – a “glue”-like polymer that green mussels often secrete to stick to rocks, combined with a solvent. Expert Enas Nashef said finding the right solvent was a challenge because most solvents are toxic, but the team identified a solvent that was both effective and environmentally friendly in the study. .
Nanomaterials inspired by the shape of mussels have shown promising results in the laboratory. Currently, Nashef experts are looking for industrial partners to test this material in the field. He also hopes to come up with other cleaning solutions for other types of pollutants, beyond water for fabric dyes. Mr Nashef’s team is also developing another nanomaterial – which he says could remove viruses from hospital wastewater – an innovation that could help manage the spread of future pandemics.
These water-purifying polymers could also make desalination more sustainable – an important factor in the Middle East, where fresh water is scarce. Desalination plants spend a lot of energy to remove salt from water. Mr. Nashef said that using nanomaterials to treat polluted water could cut down on the energy needed to clean water.
Ultimately, Nashef hopes this mission in the lab will have a positive impact on water supplies and be truly meaningful for the next generation.
According to Moitruongvadothi.vn