Development of water purification methods

Providing an access to clean water will one of the most important challenge in the future decades. Due to the increase of pollution sources and the contamination of water sources by micro-organisms, by organics like dye, fertilizers and pesticides, heavy metal ion contamination… It will become more and more difficult for people to have access to clean water… Many processes already involve nanoparticles for water purification, for example carbon based nanomaterials, graphene nanocomposites combining inorganic and organic moieties, layered double hydroxide nanomaterials, however, their performance at industrial scale limits their application due to the high cost of maintenance, energy consumption and high sludge generation.

In this project we are studying the possible of using metal nanoparticles for water purification and more particularly heavy metal extraction from water that appear the most difficult threat to combat.  Most of the present solutions are very expensive and will not be available for everyone. The goal of these investigations is to develop a cost effective method for the extraction of heavy metal ions present in water and make the water immediately drinkable after treatment. The utilization of superparamagnetic nanoparticles appears to be one of the possible promising solutions and has already been tested successfully at the laboratory scale.