MMaterialsgateNEWS 2016/09/26

Related MaterialsgateCARDS

Coffee-infused foam removes lead from contaminated water

Credit: American Chemical Society

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the U.S., which makes for a perky population — but it also creates a lot of used grounds. Scientists now report in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering an innovative way to reduce this waste and help address another environmental problem. They have incorporated spent coffee grounds in a foam filter that can remove harmful lead and mercury from water.

Restaurants, the beverage industry and people in their homes produce millions of tons of used coffee grounds every year worldwide, according to researcher Despina Fragouli. While much of the used grounds go to landfills, some of them are applied as fertilizer, used as a biodiesel source or mixed into animal feed. Scientists are also studying it as a possible material for water remediation. Experiments so far have shown that powder made from spent coffee grounds can rid water of heavy metal ions, which can cause health problems. But an additional step is needed to separate the powder from the purified water. Fragouli and colleagues wanted to simplify this process.

The researchers fixed spent coffee powder in a bioelastomeric foam, which acted as a filter. In still water, the foam removed up to 99 percent of lead and mercury ions from water over 30 hours. In a more practical test in which lead-contaminated water flowed through the foam, it scrubbed the water of up to 67 percent of the lead ions. Because the coffee is immobilized, it is easy to handle and discard after use without any additional steps, the researchers say.

Source: American Chemical Society (ACS) – 21.09.2016.

Investigated and edited by:

Dr.-Ing. Christoph Konetschny, Inhaber und Gründer von Materialsgate
Büro für Material- und Technologieberatung
The investigation and editing of this document was performed with best care and attention.
For the accuracy, validity, availability and applicability of the given information, we take no liability.
Please discuss the suitability concerning your specific application with the experts of the named company or organization.

You want additional material or technology investigations concerning this subject?

Materialsgate is leading in material consulting and material investigation.
Feel free to use our established consulting services

MMore on this topic

Researchers at Duke University and the University of British Columbia are exploring whether surfaces can shed dirt without being subjected to fragile coatings

Scalpels that never need washing. Airplane wings that de-ice themselves. Windshields that readily repel raindrops. While the appeal of a self-cleaning, hydrophobic surface may be apparent, the extremely fragile nature of the nanostructures that give rise to the water-shedding surfaces greatly limit the durability and use of such objects. To remedy this, researchers at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, are investigating the mechanisms of self-propulsion that occur when two droplets come together, catapulting themselves and any potential contaminants off the surface of interest. They ultimately hope to determine whether superhydrophobicity... more read more

University of Illinois engineers have found an energy-efficient material for removing salt from seawater that could provide a rebuttal to poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge's lament, "Water, water, every where, nor any drop to drink."

The material, a nanometer-thick sheet of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) riddled with tiny holes called nanopores, is specially designed to let high volumes of water through but keep salt and other contaminates out, a process called desalination. In a study published in the journal Nature Communications, the Illinois team modeled various thin-film membranes and found that MoS2 showed the greatest efficiency, filtering through up to 70 percent more water than graphene membranes. "Even though we have a lot of water on this planet, there is very little that is drinkable," said study leader Narayana Aluru, a U. of I. professor of mechanical science and engineering. "If we could find... more read more

A Rice University laboratory has provided proof that foam may be the right stuff to maximize enhanced oil recovery (EOR).

In tests, foam pumped into an experimental rig that mimicked the flow paths deep underground proved better at removing oil from formations with low permeability than common techniques involving water, gas, surfactants or combinations of the three. The open-access paper led by Rice scientists Sibani Lisa Biswal and George Hirasaki was published online today by the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Lab on a Chip. Oil rarely sits in a pool underground waiting to be pumped out to energy-hungry surface dwellers. Often, it lives in formations of rock and sand and hides in small cracks and crevices that have proved devilishly difficult to tap. Drillers pump various substances downhole to loosen... more read more

Engineers at Brown University have developed a system that cleanly and efficiently removes trace heavy metals from water. In experiments, the researchers showed the system reduced cadmium, copper, and nickel concentrations, returning contaminated water to near or below federally acceptable standards.

The technique is scalable and has viable commercial applications, especially in the environmental remediation and metal recovery fields. Results appear in the Chemical Engineering Journal. An unfortunate consequence of many industrial and manufacturing practices, from textile factories to metalworking operations, is the release of heavy metals in waterways. Those metals can remain for decades, even centuries, in low but still dangerous concentrations. Ridding water of trace metals “is really hard to do,” said Joseph Calo, professor emeritus of engineering who maintains an active laboratory at Brown. He noted the cost, inefficiency, and time needed for such efforts. “It’s like trying... more read more

MaterialsgateNEWSLETTER

Partner of the Week

Search in MaterialsgateNEWS

Books and products

MaterialsgateFAIR:
LET YOURSELF BE INSPIRED