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Monday, 29 April 2019 09:50

Adsorption on activated carbon clothes enhanced by the presence of bacteria for removal of harmful chemicals in water

The ‘Materials of coal and environment’ Research Group (RNM-366) of the University of Jaen, together with the University of Granada and the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi, have shown how the ability of activated carbon clothes enhanced by the presence of bacteria—such as E.Coli—for removal of contaminants in water. The research is focused on the removal of bisphenols A and S, which are two compounds artificially created and used in the manufacture of certain plastics, such as bottles. Recent research warns about their negative impact on our endocrine system, especially during childhood, as well as their growing presence in rivers or lakes.

Their research has been published by the journal Science of the Total Environment under the title ‘Removal of bisphenols A and S by adsorption on activated carbon clothes enhanced by the presence of bacteria’. The findings suggest that it is possible to improve the adsorption capacity of the activated carbon clothes towards bisphenols, by 33% in the case of BPA and by 24% in the case of BPS.


An innovative process

Tissues can be produced with synthetic fibers of organic polymers, which are then treated to obtain activated carbon clothes. This provides great versatility due to its flexibility and ability to adapt the required shape. In addition, its structure generates a network of pores at the nanometer scale with a great diversity of sizes and interconnections, which represents an add value to the process.

The immersion of this tissue in aqueous elements where bacteria already exist, such as in faecal waters, makes it possible to benefit from its biological action. "The most novel aspect of our work was to observe that the bacteria adhered to the structure of the activated carbon clothes increased the adsorption capacity of these materials towards the bisphenols examined," researcher María Victoria López says.

Financed by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities as well as the European Regional Development Fund, the application of this technology will be possible in wastewater treatment, where microorganisms are those present naturally.


References: López-Ramón MV, Ocampo-Pérez R, Bautista-Toledo MI, Rivera-Utrilla J, Moreno-Castilla C, Sánchez-Polo M. ‘Removal of bisphenols A and S by adsorption on activated carbon clothes enhanced by the presence of bacteria’, Science of the Total Environment. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.03.125


Source: Fundación Descubre

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