Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tracking the aluminum used to purify tap water

22.06.2016

A Kobe University research group including Associate Professor Maki Hideshi (Center for Environmental Management), PhD candidate Sakata Genki (Graduate School of Engineering, Department of Chemical Science and Engineering, currently employed at Central Glass Co., Ltd.) and Professor Mizuhata Minoru (Graduate School of Engineering) have developed a new analysis method that uses magnetic fields to quickly and accurately measure the concentration of aluminum used to purify tap water.

These findings can potentially be used in developing efficient and environmentally-conscious coagulants for water treatment. The findings were presented on May 29, 2016 at the 76th Japan Society for Analytical Chemistry Symposium.


This is an analysis using 27Al qNMR (quantitative NMR) spectroscopy. Each spectrum can be measured in just three minutes.

Credit: Kobe University

In order to provide clear, safe tap water it is necessary to remove particles called colloids from raw water. These particles are very small, between nanometer order and micrometer order in diameter. Polychlorinated aluminum is used as a coagulant in the water treatment process to collect and dispose of these particles. However, aluminum ions can be toxic for fish and inhibit plant growth. The Japanese Water Works Law specifies that aluminum concentration in water must be limited to below 0.1ppm (1:10,000,000).

Various hydrolyzed species of aluminum ion can be detected in water. Until now the "ferron method", involving pigments and absorption meters, has been widely used to calculate the concentration of these compounds. However, this method has some disadvantages: the analysis takes several hours and the results often contain errors.

Associate Professor Maki's research group optimized NMR¹ equipment to develop an analysis method called "27 Al qNMR (quantitative NMR) spectroscopy" that accurately measures the abundance of each aluminum compound. Notably, measurements using this analysis method can be carried out in just three minutes, and the concentration of hydrolyzed species can be calculated to within a very small margin of error in all pH ranges.

After the agglomeration mechanism of sludge including the aluminum ion was analyzed, the group discovered that when there is a high concentration of aluminum ions, after roughly 100 minutes a Keggin-type tridecameric cluster (K-Al13 ) is formed, and after a few months polymerization occurs.

As well as making it easier to measure the concentration of aluminum ions in water, this new analysis method has also clarified the structural changes aluminum ions undergo over time. These findings could potentially contribute to the development of high-performance, environmentally-conscious coagulants that can act more efficiently on colloids.

###

¹NMR spectroscopy
An acronym of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. This method analyses molecular compounds at the atomic level by putting nuclei in a magnetic field and recording their resonance frequency. Most analyses use dipolar nuclei involving carbons and protons, but this method uses the quadrupolar nuclei of aluminum. This is the world's first reported example of fixed-quantity NMR spectroscopy on quadrupolar nuclei.

Eleanor Wyllie | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Opening the cavity floodgates
23.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Incentive to Move
23.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers reveal how microbes cope in phosphorus-deficient tropical soil

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Opening the cavity floodgates

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Siberian scientists suggested a new method for synthesizing a promising magnetic material

23.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>