Main content area

Surface nano-engineered wheat straw for portable and adjustable water purification

Li, Ting, Fang, Fang, Yang, Yu, Shen, Wanji, Bao, Weiwei, Zhang, Tianran, Ai, Fanrong, Ding, Xingwei, Xin, Hongbo, Wang, Xiaolei
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.655 pp. 1028-1036
agricultural land, agricultural wastes, air pollution, animal tests, bacteria, biochar, biosafety, carbonization, dyes, electrical conductivity, heavy metals, metal ions, water pollution, water purification, wheat straw, zinc oxide
Wheat straw (WS), as a cheap and abundant agricultural waste, is usually burned directly in farmland and causes severe air pollution. Therefore, biochar derived from waste WS is prepared and modified by nanoscaled zinc oxide through a facile in-situ surface-modification process. For ease of use, a 3D printed finger-sized unit (FSU) loaded with the above as-prepared WS is designed and implemented. Each unit weighs only 4 g, and could simultaneously reduce three major water contaminants: bacteria, organic dyes, and heavy metal ions. Moreover, it is interesting to note that fresh wheat straw is a flexible material and has excellent electrical conductivity after carbonization. These two properties (flexibility and conductivity) could further adjust water purification performance. The subsequent cellular and animal tests confirmed the biosafety of the water purified with FSU alone.