Engineering Students Develop Nano-Filter for Industrial Water Treatment

Students in the Department of Materials Science at Sweden's Luleå University of Technology have developed a new bio-based water filtration system that will be tested in an industrial setting in Spain. Other industries, including mining, have expressed interested in the technology, and the research team expects to test its work in a number of real-world industrial settings.

According to the university's press release, the nano-filter relies on a cheap byproduct of the cellulose industry. This residue is combined with functional nano-cellulose to create adsorbent sheets that exhibit high filtration capabilities. Various types of constructions that take advantage of the materials will be tested. The students' filtering cartridges have the capacity to filter out heavy metal ions from industrial waters, as well as dye residues from the printing industry and nitrates from municipal waters, according to the university's report. Each membrane can be tailored to target different types of pollutants, based on how and where the filters are to be used. 

While the research took place at Luleå University, it was a joint effort which included the participation of various research institutes, universities, small businesses and process industries. Funding for the research came mainly from the European Union.   

For more information, see the Luleå University of Technology's release