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Remove pollutants from wastewater with this nano-tailored coating

By Paul Grad |

Researchers from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR, Singapore; www.a-star.edu.sg) have developed low-cost, environmentally friendly iron-hydroxide coatings with unique fin-like shapes that absorb large amounts of pollutants, such as dyes, from drinking water, by means of a simple dipping procedure. Iron hydroxides are being increasingly used instead of conventional activated charcoal (AC), because AC does not easily remove heavy metals and bulky organic compounds from water. Ion hydroxides, on the other hand, can form stable bonds to those pollutants. If iron particles are turned into nanomaterials their, active surface areas are increased, which enhances their chemical adsorption capability. However, it remains difficult to separate iron hydroxide particles from water, which is necessary due to their toxicity. To overcome this drawback, the researchers synthesizing iron-hydroxide coatings with a hierarchy of structural features, from nano- to micrometer scales, by electrodeposition of aqueous metal ions onto nickel foam at mild voltages. Electron microscopy shows that the coating’s nanostructure has elongated, fin-like protrusions, which enable the immobilized nanoparticles to maintain a high active surface…
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