Tuesday, January 24, 2012

No. 419: A new porous alumina material effective to eliminate arsenicum in drinking water (January 25, 2012)

Arsenicum is highly toxic to human body, and drinking arsenic-polluted water for a long period induces cancer through disorders in skins and nerves. It is reported that underground water in Asia, South America, and Africa is polluted by arsenicum over a wide range. In Bangladesh, arsenic pollution spreads across the country and creates is a very serious issue. A research group led by Dr. Sherif El-Safty of National Institute for Materials Science developed amaterial that can eliminate arsenicum dissolved in water.

It is a porous alumina material with numerous small holes, each of which is several tens of nanometers in diameter. On the inner surface of the alumina material, it has a structure that beds atom groups to adsorb only arsenicum. It is effective to eliminate arsenicum in drinking water. The newly developed material exhibited an elimination factor of higher than 90% for 18 ml water with an arsenic concentration of 2-5 ppm. Even if water contains metallic ions, it adsorbs arsenicum on a priority basis. Because its color changes when it adsorbs arsenicum, it can be a sensor to detect arsenicum for visual management. It is easily available for practical application and mass production.

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