Researchers develop a new low-cost and sustainable material that can reduce air and water pollution, according to a study conducted on March 20, 2018.
Low cost and by-product materials are used for the synthesis of this new hybrid material. On the basis of the European Commission’s request, researchers have developed this new material that can reduce the concentration of particulate matter. Particulate matter, such as solid particles and liquid droplets is pervasive in cities and the countryside. Effluents released from industries into the water are a major contributor to water pollution. Ecosystems and humanity are affected by these particulate matters and polluted water bodies.
The conventional method of reducing air and water pollution is by using activated carbon. As this was a very expensive process, researchers looked into developing an economical alternative. In this study, a naturally available raw material, sodium alginate was combined with a high-volume industrial by-product, silica fume for the production of an adsorbent that is better than activated carbon. Dr. Elza Bontempi from the University of Brescia said, “The article reports preliminary results about the new material’s capability to capture particulate matter. It can also be used for wastewater remediation. In particular, its ability to replace activated carbon is demonstrated.”
This new method is simple and can be easily scaled up. To consolidate the material, alginate was combined with the decomposition of food-grade sodium-bicarbonate. The new material was tested by placing it in water, which was polluted using blue dye. Even if the concentrations were high, the material was able to adsorb and remove the dye. Consumption of energy by this material was also found to be very less. It can be used as a coating, for spraying or brushing, and for 3D-printing. This is expected to increase the growth of global paints and coatings market, as detailed in the Global Paints And Coatings Market report published by Coherent Market Insights.