Team Grant (PRG2115)

Glass and sand nanocomposites investigations toward water and soil remediation


Goals of the project:

The contamination of water and soil by heavy metal ions, dyes, and microorganisms is a pressing global concern. In recent decades, new technologies for water and soil remediation based on nanomaterials have been developed but either lack efficiency and cost-effectiveness or fail to meet environmental standards. This project aims to investigate the removal of heavy metal ions and organic matter from water and soil using nanocomposites that combine metal nanoparticles ‒ in particular cobalt nanopowder ‒ with sand, glass or porous glass as a support material, and to develop concepts for a closed-loop recycling of the extracted heavy metals. After filtration, the purity and potable quality of the treated water is assessed. The project requires fundamental research, but also seeks to prove the universal applicability and economic effectiveness of the developed technologies through pilot tests with Estonian industrial companies. This research project is funded by Sihtasutus Eesti Teadusagentuur(ETAg).

News and project updates


Our team presented our research project and activities at Maamess! We discussed with the public and explain the problem of water contamination and how the technology we are working on can offer a solution. Mart Hovi also showed his system to harvest rain water and re-use it for multiple purposed. Thank you to Kristi PraakleMart Hovi and Erwan Rauwel for their active participation to promote our research activities to a large public. We had very interesting discussions, and we could feel a real need for an affordable technology that can enable the safe use of well water for every purposes.


Kick-off meeting with the whole team! We are all enthusiast to start developing new technologies that will enable the extraction of heavy metal ions from water and soil. The project focuses on developing nanocomposite aimed to be used for water and soil remediation. With these technologies wastewater and contaminated soil can become resources through the recycling of exhausted nanocomposites (circular economy). The goal is understand the extraction mechanism and to have prototype ready for the purification of well water and an on-going pilot test at the end of the project.

Link to all former news

Senior research team:

PhD students: