New wood-based technology removes wastewater dye pollutants 2023

Clean water is essential for health and the living environment, but over two billion people lack access. To address this worldwide concern, scientists at the Chalmers University of Technology have devised a novel approach to filter tainted water quickly.

Their technique, which employs a cellulose-based material, could have implications for countries with inadequate water treatment technologies and help combat the widespread problem of toxic dye discharge from the textile industry.

New wood-based technology removes wastewater dye pollutants 2023 2

It can tackle the prevalent problem of hazardous dye discharge from the textile industry.

The secret to water filtration is found in the cellulose nanocrystals, about which the researchers have amassed substantial expertise. The researchers have now discovered a way to make use of the exceptional adsorption ability that these small nanoparticles have.

Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry Gunnar Westman stated, “We examined the properties and potential applications of these cellulose nanocrystals using a novel holistic approach. We have created a biobased material, a form of cellulose powder with excellent purification properties that we can adapt and modify depending on the types of pollutants to be removed.”

Dye pollutants are eliminated using new wood-based technology.

Scientists showed how toxic dyes can be filtered out of wastewater using the method and material developed by the group. The process is catalyzed by sunlight and does not involve pressure or heat. It can remove 80 percent of dye pollutants in wastewater.

Gunnar Westman said, “Imagine a simple purification system, like a portable box connected to the sewage pipe. As contaminated water passes through the cellulose powder filter, pollutants are absorbed, and sunlight entering the treatment system causes them to degrade rapidly and effectively. It is a cost-effective and simple system to set up and use, and we see that it could be of great benefit in countries that currently have poor or non-existent water treatment.”

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