Lab to Life: Clean Water Solutions

Access to clean water is one of the greatest challenges humanity will face in the future. Even now, several regions of the world find it difficult to obtain clean water, mainly due to pollution and degradation of the environment. Traditionally, cleansing water involves adding chemicals, which effectively remove impurities but may introduce harmful substances into the water.

Shoolini University researchers, including Prof Pardeep Singh, Adesh K Saini, Pooja Shandilya, Prof Pankaj Raizada, and Divya Mittal, have made significant strides in revolutionising water purification methods. They have also filed a patent in this regard.

As part of its latest groundbreaking research, the team has pioneered a groundbreaking approach utilising photocatalysis, an advanced water purification technique. This method harnesses the power of light to degrade pollutants in water, offering a safer and more sustainable solution to ensure clean water for consumption while minimising adverse effects on human health and the environment.

The team has leveraged the remarkable properties of graphene, an ultra-strong and ultra-thin carbon-based material, to address water pollution challenges. Graphene, akin to a paper-thin sheet yet significantly stronger, offers a non-toxic and easily synthesis-able solution with a vast surface area ideal for capturing pollutants.

This innovation represents a significant leap forward in water purification, offering a new, environmentally friendly approach that sidesteps the need for harsh chemicals and costly procedures. It’s akin to discovering a novel tool in our arsenal for ensuring cleaner, safer water for all. While conventional methods like filtration, sedimentation, chlorination, and ozonation are effective in treating wastewater by physical and chemical means, and biological processes utilising bacteria are standard, adsorption processes stand out. Adsorption processes are widely favoured for treating industrial wastewater due to their simplicity, high efficiency, low maintenance requirements, economic advantages and resilience against toxic substances.

This latest advancement promises to enhance the efficacy and sustainability of water treatment efforts, marking a significant stride towards a cleaner, healthier future.

The patent for utilising graphene as a support material with photocatalyst in wastewater treatment represents a significant breakthrough with profound implications for society. Its adoption can fundamentally transform the cleanliness and safety of water supplies, especially in areas facing challenges with access to clean water or inadequate treatment facilities. By efficiently eliminating pollutants and bacteria from wastewater, this technology holds the promise of curbing waterborne diseases and significantly improving public health outcomes on a global scale. Additionally, as a 2D carbon-based material, graphene offers distinct advantages: it’s cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and non-toxic, further highlighting its potential as a sustainable solution for addressing water quality challenges.

Adopting graphene as support materials with photocatalysts brings about remarkable advancements in wastewater treatment and offers significant environmental benefits. This transition towards eco-friendly treatment methods aligns with broader ecological protection and conservation efforts. Prof Pardeep Singh highlights the novelty of the research, emphasising that while there have been numerous reports on graphene-supported photocatalysts, the materials we have synthesised — specifically fluorine-doped graphene (FG) and EV/FG24 — are truly pioneering, marking a significant step forward in the field of water purification.

This innovative approach not only promises to revolutionise water treatment but also holds the potential for resource conservation. By enhancing treatment processes, this technology could lead to significant reductions in water consumption and energy usage within treatment facilities. Such optimisation aligns with sustainability goals and promotes responsible stewardship of natural resources, he added.

Bhavna Sharma

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Shoolini Team
Shoolini Team
The Shoolini University Blog offers a range of articles on career options, opportunities and the latest industry trends. Articles cover areas of agriculture, pharmacy, biotechnology, microbiology, management, media, liberal arts etc.

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