Nanocatalyst helps remove organic water pollutants under sunlight

TEHRAN, Dec. 09 (MNA) – Iranian scientists produced nanocatalysts in a research which can eliminate humic substances from water in the presence of sunlight, INIC reports.

According to Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council (INIC), the nanocatalyst produced by Iranian researchers has certain advantages, including low price, high UV sorption and low activation energy.

Humic Substances (HS) are a major part of natural organic pollutants that are created through the microbial degradation of herbal and animal tissues. Existence of high amount of these pollutants in water reservoirs results in undesirable effects on water quality such as giving color, odor and taste to water. Therefore, researchers tried to develop a new method to eliminate humic substances from test samples with high efficiency.

Photocatalytic processes have been taken into consideration as effective methods to eliminate organic compounds from aqueous solutions since the past decade. Semi-conductive metal oxides such as zinc oxide and titania have been introduced as commonly-used catalysts in these processes.

Efforts have been made in this research to use synthetic nanocatalysts with modified properties to remove pollutants from water. To this end, zinc oxide nanoparticles doped with copper oxide were used as nanocatalysts while sunlight was used as the natural source of energy.

Results of the research showed that the synthesized nanocatalyst is able to remove organic pollutants from water with high efficiency. Operational costs also decrease due to the use of sunlight and optimization of the synthesized nanocatalyst.

The nanocatalyst can be used in the purification of urban water and sewage and industrial wastewater after carrying out complementary studies and producing the product in a large scale.

Results of the research have been published in Environmental Science and Pollution Research, vol. 22, 2015, pp. 16875-16880.

 

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