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 Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF

nachricht Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

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: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>