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 Loss of habitat causes double damage to species richness
02.04.2019 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Deep decarbonization of industry is possible with innovations
25.03.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

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: Full speed ahead for SmartEEs at Automotive Interiors Expo 2019

Flexible, organic and printed electronics conquer everyday life. The forecasts for growth promise increasing markets and opportunities for the industry. In Europe, top institutions and companies are engaged in research and further development of these technologies for tomorrow's markets and applications. However, access by SMEs is difficult. The European project SmartEEs - Smart Emerging Electronics Servicing works on the establishment of a European innovation network, which supports both the access to competences as well as the support of the enterprises with the assumption of innovations and the progress up to the commercialization.

It surrounds us and almost unconsciously accompanies us through everyday life - printed electronics. It starts with smart labels or RFID tags in clothing, we...

Im Focus: Energy-saving new LED phosphor

The human eye is particularly sensitive to green, but less sensitive to blue and red. Chemists led by Hubert Huppertz at the University of Innsbruck have now developed a new red phosphor whose light is well perceived by the eye. This increases the light yield of white LEDs by around one sixth, which can significantly improve the energy efficiency of lighting systems.

Light emitting diodes or LEDs are only able to produce light of a certain colour. However, white light can be created using different colour mixing processes.

Im Focus: Quantum gas turns supersolid

Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.

Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

High-efficiency thermoelectric materials: New insights into tin selenide

25.04.2019 | Materials Sciences

Salish seafloor mapping identifies earthquake and tsunami risks

25.04.2019 | Earth Sciences

Using DNA templates to harness the sun's energy

25.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>