Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Removing heavy metals from water with MOFs

14.03.2018

An estimated 1 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water, a problem expected to worsen with climate change, according to the World Health Organization. In addition, higher energy needs and increased use of heavy metals in industrial processes have increased human exposure to these toxic materials from drinking water in recent decades. Researchers now report in ACS Central Science a new material that can remove heavy metals and provide clean drinking water in seconds.

There are many sources of exposure to toxic heavy metals. Lead, in particular, has been used in paints, ceramic glazes, jewelry, toys and in pipes. Current commercial methods to remove heavy metals including lead from municipal drinking water can be expensive in terms of money and energy and are inefficient.


A metal organic framework can remove lead from water samples, getting them to EPA-approved levels in seconds.

Credit: American Chemical Society

In addition, some current approaches either are single-use, are difficult to regenerate or can produce significant toxic waste as a side product. Wendy L. Queen and colleagues sought to attack this issue with materials called metal organic frameworks (MOFs) that are networks of organic chemical 'struts' with metal nodes known to pull things like water and gases from air.

That ability, plus the large surface area and chemical tunability of MOFs make them a promising material to remove heavy metals selectively from water.

The researchers created a water-stable MOF/polymer composite with cheap, environmentally and biologically friendly materials and tested its ability to remove heavy metals from water. It had one of the highest reported removal capacities to date, removing over 1.6 times its own weight of mercury and 40 percent of its weight in lead. The researchers tested the MOFs in solutions with lead levels similar to those found in contaminated water samples from Flint, Michigan.

They found that the material can rapidly reduce lead concentrations to 2 parts per billion, which is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency limit for drinkable levels. Further, the authors removed lead from various real-world water samples from the Rhone River, the Mediterranean Sea and a wastewater treatment plant in Switzerland. The researchers also demonstrated how the material could be regenerated easily without toxic products. The authors say they are now pursuing using other specially designed MOFs to remove other trace contaminants in water.

###

The authors acknowledge funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation, the German Research Foundation, the Department of Energy and the Swiss National Supercomputing Center.

This paper will be freely available on Wednesday, March 14, at 8 a.m. ET at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acscentsci.7b00605

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With nearly 157,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

Follow us: Twitter | Facebook

Katie Cottingham | EurekAlert!

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Graphene origami as a mechanically tunable plasmonic structure for infrared detection
25.04.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht Scientists create innovative new 'green' concrete using graphene
24.04.2018 | University of Exeter

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Why we need erasable MRI scans

New technology could allow an MRI contrast agent to 'blink off,' helping doctors diagnose disease

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

World's smallest optical implantable biodevice

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Molecular evolution: How the building blocks of life may form in space

26.04.2018 | Life Sciences

First Li-Fi-product with technology from Fraunhofer HHI launched in Japan

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>