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Advanced methods for the removal and monitoring of polar organic contaminants (PolarClean)
Start date: Sep 1, 2011, End date: Aug 31, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The aim of the project is to develop advanced methdologies for the decontamination and monitoring of emerging polar contaminants in wastewaters and drinking waters.There are no known technologies for cleaning e.g. endocrine disruptors, molluscicides, acrylamide, which are major problems affecting the quality of drinking water world-wide and can degrade aquatic ecosystems. Methods based on micro- and nano-composite materials and heterogeneous catalysis with superior cleaning properties will be developed and applied to achieve efficient and environmentally friendly remediation technologies. The decontamination strategy will be further developed as a new high throughput analytical tool for monitoring trace amounts of pollutants in water.The project will tailor the structure of micro and nano-size carbon beads; nanotubes and graphene oxides to trap highly polar contaminants from water whose removal is not feasible today; embed the most effective structures in a polymeric matrix; and develop a process to decontaminate the material by means of heterogeneous catalysis where the adsorbent will act as catalyst in the degradation reaction. The carbon-based composites developed for water remediation will be optimised for use in analytical processes.The outputs of the research will contribute to the betterment of ecosystems and human health through the improvement of water treatment technologies, and science with new methodologies to trap, degrade and monitor highly polar contaminants from water. Removal and monitoring highly polar small-size molecules from water is a significant challenge and an urgent need of today.
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