Composite Promises Easier Water Polishing

Researchers at Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland, have successfully removed a harmful pollutant from water using a composite material made of titanium dioxide nano-tubes on graphene (a carbon sheet one atom thick). Diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory drug that nearly wiped out an entire vulture population in India, stuck to the surface of the graphene, allowing the TiO2 to get close enough to break it down.

“We’re looking at using the graphene composite in a cartridge for one-step drinking water treatment,” notes Anne Morrissey, one of the researchers. “You could just buy a cartridge off the shelf and plop it into the pipe where the drinking water comes into your house.” Such a cartridge system also would ensure the graphene stays immobilized and doesn’t contaminate the clean water. She sees the technology as a polishing step after traditional water-treatment processes.

She is presenting a paper on the technology at the 247th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, which is taking place March 16-20 in Dallas.

For more information, check out the release from the American Chemical Socitety.

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