Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Colloidal Adsorbent Removes Natural Organic Matter From Water Supply

24.08.2004


Microbial degradation products and other forms of natural organic matter can make water look, smell and taste bad. Natural organic matter also can foul the membranes used in water treatment plants, significantly reducing their efficiency.

Now, a polymer-based colloidal adsorbent developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way of removing troublesome natural organic matter from municipal water supplies.

"Natural organic matter can react with chemical disinfectants such as chlorine to produce chloroform and other carcinogens in our drinking water," said Mark Clark, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Illinois and a researcher at the Center of Advanced Materials for Purification of Water With Systems on campus. "Ensuring a safe and clean water supply without forming dangerous byproducts is a major problem."



One solution, he said, is to remove more of the harmful bacteria by using advanced filtration processes that utilize synthetic membranes made from polymer. Less chlorine would then be needed, which would reduce the formation of potentially dangerous chlorinated compounds. The problematic membrane fouling from natural organic matter could be avoided by adding the new colloidal adsorbent.

Several years ago, Clark and Robert Riley, a polymer chemist with Separation Systems Technology in California, invented the technology for producing a colloidal adsorbent from polysulfone - the same organic polymer used for water purification membranes. A patent was issued late last year.

To create their cleaning colloids, Clark and his students inject a solution of polysulfone into water under controlled mixing conditions. The polysulfone precipitates into colloidal particles about 50-60 nanometers in diameter, which then aggregate into clusters about 12-20 microns in diameter.

The pore size of the clusters is perfect for trapping natural organic matter, Clark said. The very high surface area of the particles also creates a large adsorption capacity.

"The particles work better than activated carbon for collecting natural organic foulants," Clark said. "The colloids can be easily regenerated chemically, and they significantly reduce membrane fouling." Not all natural organic matter fouls membranes, however. "A large percentage passes through the membrane with no problem," Clark said. "Only about 5 to 10 percent of the material actually causes a problem."

Now that the researchers have trapped the offending material in their adsorbent, they want to analyze it with advanced organic chemistry techniques. "We want to identify the material and characterize the nature of its interaction with the adsorbent," said Clark, who will discuss the colloidal adsorbent at the 228th American Chemical Society national meeting in Philadelphia. "Then we can look for ways to further improve both the adsorbent and the membrane."

The National Science Foundation and National Water Research Institute funded the work.

James E. Kloeppel | University of Illinois
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Global threat to primates concerns us all
19.01.2017 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung

nachricht Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

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: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>