According to Materials World Magazine, grapefruit peel is a new adsorbent material used to get rid of heavy metals and organic pollutants in water.
Research scientists from the University of Granada, Spain, the Centre of Electrochemical Research and Technological Development, and the Centre of Engineering and Industrial Development, Mexico, altered the structure of the fruit peel, giving it a larger surface area and porosity in order to increase its absorbency.
“We have managed to add functional groups to the material, thus making it selective in order to remove metals and organic pollutants present in the water,” Luis Alberto Romero Cano, from the Carbon Materials Research Team at the University of Granada’s Faculty of Science, said.
But it is not only fruit peel that is being used and explored in absorbing contaminants in water; researchers from the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Sciences, Minnesota, U.S., have developed a nanocomposite sponge able to draw mercury in water by growing selenium nanomaterials on a polyurethane sponge to produce antimicrobial properties.
The sponge can kill bacteria and convert poisonous contaminants into a non-toxic substance that can be safely disposed of. According to research scientists, the sponge can get rid of mercury from tap and late wastewater in less than five seconds, and from industrial wastewater in five minutes or less.
Source: Materials World Magazine