Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and Tel Aviv University have developed an aerogel adsorbent that can remove trace pollutants from wastewater.
- Aerogels comprise mostly of air and can be used to remove contaminants.
- They are also known as ‘solid air’ or ‘frozen smoke’ are excellent adsorbents (a solid substance used to remove contaminants) and are incredibly lightweight solids composed mostly of air.
- In addition, they offer advantages like adjustable surface chemistry, low density, and a highly porous structure.
- Newly developed aerogel adsorbent
- The research team developed a silica aerogel modified with graphene.
- They employed a method called 'supercritical fluid deposition' to prepare these modified aerogels and studied their effectiveness.
- The Graphene-doped modified silica aerogels (GO-SA) were found to exhibit efficiency in purifying water, attracting and removing contaminants due to graphene's unique molecular structure.
- Under real-life conditions mimicked in their experiments, the material removed over 85% of pollutants in controlled settings and more than 76% in continuous flow conditions.
Q1) What is Graphene?
Graphene is a remarkable two-dimensional material composed of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice, similar to the structure of graphite. It is the basic building block of other carbon allotropes, such as graphite, carbon nanotubes, and fullerenes.