Magnetic material mops up microplastics – AustraliaPosted on December 1, 2022 by DrRossH in Plastic Waste News
Lead researcher Professor Nicky Eshtiaghi said existing methods could take days to remove microplastics from water, while their cheap and sustainable invention achieves better results in just one hour.
The team says they have developed adsorbents, in the form of a powder, that remove microplastics 1,000 times smaller than those currently detectable by existing wastewater treatment plants.
The researchers have successfully tested the adsorbents in the lab, and they plan to engage with industry to further develop the innovation to remove microplastics from waterways.
ow does this innovation work?
The researchers have developed an adsorbent using nanomaterials that they can mix into water to attract microplastics and dissolved pollutants.
Muhammad Haris, the first author and PhD candidate from RMIT’s School of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, said the nanomaterials contained iron, which enabled the team to use magnets to easily separate the microplastics and pollutants from the water.
“This whole process takes one hour, compared to other inventions taking days,” he said.
Co-lead researcher Dr Nasir Mahmood said the nano-pillar structured material was designed to attract microplastics without creating any secondary pollutants or carbon footprints.