Industrialized communities have developed chemical treatments to remove contaminants from wastewater.
But then what removes the chemicals used to remove chemicals from wastewater? It seems a tricky joking question and a vicious circle. Indeed it is pivotal if you want to effectively address wastewater remediation!
A high-efficiency treatment of wastewater is critical for a growing economy. Nanotechnologies and nanomaterials have offered effective and high-quality sorbents for the removal of heavy metal ions from wastewater due to their unique structural properties. On the other hand, concerns about possible effects of nanomaterials on health and the environment are also rising and imposing stringent assessment criteria. Hence the question: how to ensure that the sorbent does not become a secondary unwanted pollution? The subsequent removal and cleaning of these nanoadsorbents from water is very difficult, costly, and challenging! Nanomaterials for water treatment should have excellent sorption behaviour, but they should also be non-toxic, stable, low-cost and easy to recover and re-use.
In this paper, T. Wang and co-workers propose laser-induced formation of CuO@CuS nanostructures for absorbing and removing from wastewater the organic methyl blue (MB) dye molecules and heavy Cr(IV) ions. Laser irradiation during the formation of the adsorbent nano-particles plays a fundamental role in sintering or sticking them together in fibrous-like agglomerates. Once the pollutants are adsorbed, the CuO@CuS particles self-agglomerate and completely (98.9–99.6%) precipitate at the bottom of the pool and can be separated, without an additional centrifugation process or external magnetic field as in complicated nano-adsorbent separation procedures. Once separated, the nano-cleaner can be regenerated and reused. Therefore, the way to low-cost wastewater treatments is there!
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