“Core–shell” adsorbent granules, readily useable in filtration columns, are synthesized by assembling aqueous graphite oxide (GO) over sand granules. The nanostructured GO-coated sand retains at least 5-fold higher concentration of heavy metal and organic dye than pure sand.
have developed a way to transform ordinary sand—a mainstay filter
material used to purify drinking water throughout the world—into a
"super sand" with five times the filtering capacity of regular sand. The
new material could be a low-cost boon for developing countries, where
more than a billion people lack clean drinking water, according to the
report in the ACS journal Applied Materials & Interfaces.
Majumder and colleagues note that sand has been used to purify water
for more than 6,000 years, and sand or gravel water filtration is
endorsed by the World Health Organization. Their studies of a
nanomaterial called graphite oxide (GO) suggest that it could be used to
improve sand filtration in a cost-effective way, they write.
researchers used a simple method to coat sand grains with graphite
oxide, creating a super sand that successfully removed mercury and a dye
molecule from water. In the mercury test, ordinary sand was saturated
within 10 minutes of filtration, while the super sand absorbed the heavy
metal for more than 50 minutes, the scientists discovered. Its
filtration "performance is comparable to some commercially available
activated carbon," the scientists said. "We are currently investigating
strategies that will enable us to assemble functionalized GO particles
on the sand grains to further enhance contaminant removal efficiencies,"
The authors acknowledge funding from Nanoholdings, LLC. (http://www.nanoholdings.com/)