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Water Purification: Nanomaterials Shaken Out Of Water In New Purification Technique

First Posted: Dec 11, 2015 12:29 PM EST

Researchers have created a new technique that can purify contaminated water by simply shaking the nanomaterials out, according to a recent study done at Michigan Technological UniversityThe researchers' new method allows purifying water and greening nanotechnology to be as straightforward as shaking a vial of water and oil.

This new method is capable of cleaning out the nanomaterials present in contaminated water.

"These materials are very, very tiny and that means if you try to remove them and clean them out of contaminated water, that it's quite difficult," Dongyan Zhang, lead author of the study and professor of physics, said in news release. Zhang claimed that techniques like filter paper and meshes do not work well, and are often inefficient.

Nanotechnology has numerous applications in electronic and medical devices, and even in beauty products. However, tiny nanoparticles and nanomaterials from these technologies mange find their way into our water. Over 1,300 products are made with varying nanomaterials, which impacts human and environmental health, according to the EPA.

The nanomaterials get trapped by shaking up oil and water, thus they can be easily removed from the water. This technique clears almost 100 percent of one- and two-dimensional nanomaterials. However, zero-dimensional nanospheres are not picked up as they are too tiny.

The findings of this study were published in the journal Applied Materials and Interfaces.

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