Nav: Home

KIST uesed eco-friendly composite catalyst and ultrasound to remove pollutants from water

July 19, 2019

Developed eco-friendly, low-cost, and high-efficiency wastewater processing catalyst made from agricultural byproduct, and High efficiency and removal rate achieved through application of ultrasound stimulation, leading to high expectation for the development of an environmental hormone removal system

The research team of Dr. Jae-woo Choi and Dr. Kyung-won Jung of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology's (KIST, president: Byung-gwon Lee) Water Cycle Research Center announced that it has developed a wastewater treatment process that uses a common agricultural byproduct to effectively remove pollutants and environmental hormones, which are known to be endocrine disruptors.

The sewage and wastewater that are inevitably produced at any industrial worksite often contain large quantities of pollutants and environmental hormones (endocrine disruptors). Because environmental hormones do not break down easily, they can have a significant negative effect on not only the environment but also the human body. To prevent this, a means of removing environmental hormones is required.

The performance of the catalyst that is currently being used to process sewage and wastewater drops significantly with time. Because high efficiency is difficult to achieve given the conditions, the biggest disadvantage of the existing process is the high cost involved. Furthermore, the research done thus far has mostly focused on the development of single-substance catalysts and the enhancement of their performance. Little research has been done on the development of eco-friendly nanocomposite catalysts that are capable of removing environmental hormones from sewage and wastewater.

The KIST research team, led by Dr. Jae-woo Choi and Dr. Kyung-won Jung, utilized biochar,** which is eco-friendly and made from agricultural byproducts, to develop a wastewater treatment process that effectively removes pollutants and environmental hormones. The team used rice hulls, which are discarded during rice harvesting, to create a biochar that is both eco-friendly and economical. The surface of the biochar was coated with nano-sized manganese dioxide to create a nanocomposite. The high efficiency and low cost of the biochar-nanocomposite catalyst is based on the combination of the advantages of the biochar and manganese dioxide.

**Biochar: a term that collectively refers to substances that can be created through the thermal decomposition of diverse types of biomass or wood under oxygen-limited conditions

The KIST team used the hydrothermal method, which is a type of mineral synthesis that uses high heat and pressure, when synthesizing the nanocomposite in order to create a catalyst that is highly active, easily replicable, and stable. It was confirmed that giving the catalyst a three-dimensional stratified structure resulted in the high effectiveness of the advanced oxidation process (AOP), due to the large surface area created.

When used under the same conditions in which the existing catalyst can remove only 80 percent of Bisphenol A (BPA), an environmental hormone, the catalyst developed by the KIST team removed over 95 percent in less than one hour. In particular, when combined with ultrasound (20kHz), it was confirmed that all traces of BPA were completely removed in less than 20 minutes. Even after many repeated tests, the BPA removal rate remained consistently at around 93 percent.

Dr. Kyung-won Jung of KIST's Water Cycle Research Center said, "The catalyst developed through this study makes use of a common agricultural byproduct. Therefore, we expect that additional research on alternative substances will lead to the development of catalysts derived from various types of organic waste biomass." Dr. Jae-woo Choi, also of KIST's Water Cycle Research Center, said, "We have high hopes that future studies aimed at achieving process optimization and increasing removal rates will allow for the development an environmental hormone removal system that is both eco-friendly and low-cost."
-end-
This study was conducted with support from the Ministry of Science and Technology (minister: Young-min Yoo) as a project of KIST and the National Research Foundation of Korea. The study outcomes were published in the most recent issue of Ultrasonics Sonochemistry (IF: 7.279, top 1.613 JCR sector).

National Research Council of Science & Technology

Related Ultrasound Articles:

Ultrasound imaging of the brain and liver
Ultrasound is commonly used in diagnostic imaging of the body's soft tissues, including muscles, joints, tendons and internal organs.
Ultrasound for children with abdominal trauma
Despite evidence showing that the routine use of sonography in hospital emergency departments can safely improve care for adults when evaluating for possible abdominal trauma injuries, researchers at UC Davis Medical Center could not identify any significant improvements in care for pediatric trauma patients.
New approach uses ultrasound to measure fluid in the lungs
A team of engineering and medical researchers has found a way to use ultrasound to monitor fluid levels in the lung, offering a noninvasive way to track progress in treating pulmonary edema -- fluid in the lungs -- which often occurs in patients with congestive heart failure.
Optical generation of ultrasound via photoacoustic effect
Limitations of the piezoelectric array technologies conventionally used for ultrasonics inspired researchers to explore an alternative mechanism for generating ultrasound via light (the photoacoustic effect).
New method to detect ultrasound with light
A tiny, transparent device that fits into a contact lens can determine the speed of blood flow and oxygen metabolic rate at the back of the eye, helping to diagnose diseases such as macular degeneration.
How to 'sharpen' an ultrasound scalpel
Researchers from the Laboratory for Industrial and Medical Ultrasound of M.V.
Controlling ultrasound with 3-D printed devices
Researchers have 3-D printed a new kind of device that can harness high-pressure ultrasound to move, manipulate, or destroy tiny objects like particles, drops or biological tissue at scales comparable with cells.
Study links autism severity to genetics, ultrasound
For children with autism and a class of genetic disorders, exposure to diagnostic ultrasound in the first trimester of pregnancy is linked to increased autism severity, according to a study by researchers at UW Medicine, UW Bothell and Seattle Children's Research Institute.
Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins
Protein engineering techniques might one day lead to colorful ultrasound images of cells deep within our bodies.
Dialing up chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer with ultrasound
Researchers at Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway have combined a laboratory ultrasound technique called 'sonoporation' with the commercially-available chemotherapy compound Gemcitabine to increase the porosity of pancreatic cells with microbubbles and to help get the drug into cancer cells where it is needed.

Related Ultrasound Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...