Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cleaning up pollutants with sunlight

23.10.2002


A cheap, harmless chemical and sunlight could provide an environmentally friendly way of destroying micro-pollutants in the environment.



UK researchers are developing a new type of reactor to destroy persistent contaminants such as pesticides and pharmaceutical residues.

The technology, which breaks down the polluting molecules into carbon dioxide and water, could provide a breakthrough for a sustainable way of cleaning up fresh water supplies and industrial wastewater.


The work is being led by Dr Gianluca Li Puma at the University of Nottingham. The project is funded by the Swindon based Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

The Nottingham team is investigating a novel type of reactor, the ‘fountain photo-catalytic reactor’, to treat contaminated water, using titanium dioxide. The idea is to pump the contaminated water through a specially designed nozzle. Titanium dioxide is then added to the water. The nozzle produces an umbrella-shaped fountain of water, with the sunlight – or artificial ultraviolet light – falling on the ‘canopy’ of the umbrella. This allows the photo-catalyst to absorb the solar radiation efficiently, resulting in a more effective destruction of the pollutants.

“Once the pollutants have been removed the water can be passed to a settling tank where the titanium dioxide can be recovered and re-used for the same process,” says Dr Li Puma.

The team has successfully demonstrated the feasibility of the concept using a 400 litre pilot plant and ultraviolet lamps to simulate sunlight.

“We see this as being a potentially sustainable technology which could have particular use in countries with plenty of sunshine, such as southern Europe, Central and South America, Africa and the Asia/Pacific region,” says Dr Li Puma. “In the UK the present technology can use low-cost, low-power sun-tanning lamps.”



Jane Reck | alfa

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Minimized water consumption in CSP plants - EU project MinWaterCSP is making good progress
05.12.2017 | Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum

nachricht Jena Experiment: Loss of species destroys ecosystems
28.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

Im Focus: A transistor of graphene nanoribbons

Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."

Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

Blockchain is becoming more important in the energy market

05.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Making fuel out of thick air

08.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Rules for superconductivity mirrored in 'excitonic insulator'

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

Smartphone case offers blood glucose monitoring on the go

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>