The Environmental Technology Unit of the Guadalajara headquarters Ciatej and the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), are working on the use of magnetic nanomaterial technology that absorbs contaminants from Lake Chapala.
According to the article by Cristina del Carmen Torres, the two institutions work with magnetic nanoparticles coated by surfactants that allow contaminants to be absorbed by the nanoparticle and can be removed from the water once it has been saturated. The nanoparticle can be washed with solvents such as alcohol to be reused.
The design of this technology was made by Dr. Arturo Keller, a UCSB collaborator, these particles – they explain – have shown that they can selectively absorb pesticides, fossil fuels, dyes, heavy metals, and some drugs.
The project at Lake Chapala consists in the removal of contaminants that cannot be eliminated by the Wastewater Treatment Plants, such as acesulfame-K (present in products such as diclofecnaco, ketoprofen, naproxen, water repellents, mosquito repellents and antibacterial agents), this compound that they have identified in high concentrations at the entrance and exit of wastewater treatment plants, which could generate a negative effect on organisms in Lake Chapala.
The investigation reveals that with two milligrams of this nanotechnology per liter of water, the totality of acesulfame-K can be eliminated in ten minutes.
The researcher Cristina del Carmen Torres confided to the Sun of Mexico that the project is in the phase of filter design to facilitate the use of technology and incorporate them into wastewater plants. The project is funded by UC Mexus-Conacyt and this list is expected in 2020.
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