A new generation of high surface-area porous materials for removing atrazine from water supplies has been developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The low-cost and wear-resistant fibers also can remove the hazardous contaminants chloroform and trichloroethylene, both byproducts of the commonly used chlorine disinfection process.
"We’ve shown that we can remove all these impurities to well below the maximum contaminant levels established by the Environmental Protection Agency," said James Economy, a professor of materials science and engineering at Illinois. "Having increased pore size and higher surface area, these fibers work much better than commercially available granulated activated carbon."
Atrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States. More than 75 million pounds of atrazine are applied annually. Spread on farm fields and residential lawns to control weeds, atrazine can work its way into local waterways and municipal drinking supplies. Millions of Americans unknowingly ingest atrazine with their tap water.
James E. Kloeppel | University of Illinois News Bure
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