Removing Nanoparticles From Our Waterways
Tiny nanoparticles are being used in many products from clothing to toothpaste. What happens when the particles enter our water supply is the subject of intense study worldwide. Now, a new water-purifying technology may provide a way to remove nanoparticles in the process. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.
Sorber: Some of the waste byproducts that come out of industrial wastewater could include silver, gold, phosphorus. These all have value. Nanoparticles can be concentrated as well, not to mention rare earth elements from certain streams in the coalfields.
Karen Sorber is cofounder of Micronic Technologies. They’ve invented an apparatus which vaporizes and purifies polluted water, removing waste products with a tornado-like vortex.
Sorber: So you take a nano material stream and you concentrate the waste and that makes it a potential supply chain for nano manufacturing. These are very very small materials that are difficult to concentrate. And with our ability to concentrate them, that should provide a wonderful opportunity for supply chain to nano-manufacturing. So if were able to concentrate them and keep them out of the environment, then it may stave off future issues that exist in the environment from nanoparticles.
Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the Center for Earth and Environmental Nanotechnology and the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.