This week in adhesives news, researchers at Cornell University have developed an alternative method to carbon for water purification.
A team of researchers lead by Will Dichtel, an associate professor of chemistry and chemical biology, synthesized a porous form of the polymer cyclodextrin, the same material used to trap air pollutants in Febreze air fresheners. But instead of freshening air, the team tested their material in a water filtration device. The new polymer reportedly trapped water pollutants via adsorption at rates much higher than traditional activated carbon, as high as 200 times greater in some cases.
“What we did is make the first high-surface-area material made of cyclodextrin, combining some of the advantages of the activated carbon with the inherent advantages of the cyclodextrin,” said Dichtel. “When you combine the best features of those two materials, you get a material that’s even better than either class…These materials will remove pollutants in seconds, as the water flows by, so there’s a potential for really low-energy, flow-through water purification, which is a big deal.”
The cyclodextrin-polymer also reportedly can be reused many times with no loss in performance.
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