A new approach transforms environmental waste into high-cost applied nanomaterials

(Nanowerk News) Nowadays nanomaterials are used in every field of daily life such as nanomedicine, smart electronics, engineering, aerospace technologies, industries, and environmental sciences. However, their high production cost and use of natural resources to produce different types of nanomaterials is an unsustainable process.
Considering the depletion of natural resources to produce nanomaterials, robust population growth, high consumer demands, and escalating environmental pollution because of nanomaterials synthesis procedures, it is worthwhile to innovate new technologies that can produced highly efficient nanomaterials purely from waste.
Concerning this important issue, researchers from “Dipartimento di Scienze e Ingegneria della Materia, dell'Ambiente ed Urbanistica - Università Politecnica delle Marche (SIMAU - UNIVPM), Italy” were able to design a new method that can use both inorganic (metal) and organic waste to produce different class of nanomaterials (Nanoparticles, Polymers, and Nanocomposites).
While demonstrating the importance of this new approach, they used titanium scrap and dead plant leaves to produce applied TiO2 nanomaterials, Nanocellulose polymer and TiO2-Nanocellulose Nanocomposite.
Illustration of Transformation of Metal and Organic waste into Highly Efficient Nanomaterials
Transformation of Metal and Organic waste into Highly Efficient Nanomaterials (Image provided by the authors, Creative Common License 4.0)
“It is equally important to demonstrate the efficiency of nanomaterials produced from waste”, said first author Qaisar Maqbool from SIMAU-UNIVPM. So, our prepared nanomaterials were successfully tested to treat wastewater by removing organic pollutants in quick time. "We observed that these nanomaterials were very effective, even when used in very small concentration. This aspect is very important, when we talk about eco-friendly products. The products that can reach at gross root level at minimum price-value."
The findings were published in Journal of Hazardous Materials ("Transformation of industrial and organic waste into titanium doped activated carbon – cellulose nanocomposite for rapid removal of organic pollutants").
This innovative method will provide new opportunities to the scientist as well as industry in the field of nanotechnology to use low-cost waste materials to produce cost-efficient nanomaterials. Different metal wastes such as Al, Cu, Zn, Fe etc. can be processed through this approach and can be converted into highly efficient nanomaterials for various applications. This will not only lower the production-cost but also preserve the natural resources and will surely reduce the environmental pollution.
Source: Università Politecnica delle Marche (SIMAU - UNIVPM), Italy
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