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 Finding plastic litter from afar
19.11.2018 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg

nachricht Despite government claims, orangutan populations have not increased. Call for better monitoring
06.11.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

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: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New materials: Growing polymer pelts

19.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Earthquake researchers finalists for supercomputing prize

19.11.2018 | Information Technology

Controlling organ growth with light

19.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>