Cleaning Up Pollutants Through Carbon Aerogel Foam
As organic pollutants are harmful to both human health and the environment, it is necessary to find effective, cost-efficient ways to remove them from the environment. One treatment method is photocatalysis, where the hazardous organic pollutants are degraded into harmless constituents.
A team from the NUS Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering has developed a novel photocatalysis process that demonstrates superior organic pollutant degradation. By using a proprietary carbon aerogel photocatalytic foam, the photocatalytic process degrades organic pollutant (specifically Methyl Orange), while simultaneously generating hydrogen, which has various chemical, manufacturing and industrial applications. The organic pollutant degradation and hydrogen generation can be further improved by addition of co-catalysts.
Applications and Advantages
Suitable for the area of air and water purification, this process demonstrates improved performance compared to other photocatalysis treatment methods, as the carbon aerogel foam provides large open pores for direct pollutant absorption and confined photodegradation within the foam.
It also has inter-connected fibrils and open cell pores for better immobilisation of the catalysts. There is no need for the removal of the catalysts after the organic pollutant degradation. An added benefit is that the carbon foam can be easily re-used. This process can be used to clean up organic pollutants from both the air and water.
NUS has applied for a patent for this technology and is seeking partners to further develop this technology and bring it to market.
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