Many steroid hormones such as Micropollutants are known to contaminate water worldwide. Thus, they pose a significant threat to human life, flora, and fauna, even if they are only present in small quantities. Unfortunately, hitherto there has been less to no research and development of scalable water treatment technologies that are efficient as well as sustainable.
Looking at this problem, the European Union has set strict minimum quality requirements for safe and clean drinking water. The companies developing technologies for water treatment now need to take into consideration all such standards as well. The most significant setback in treating water is that steroid hormones are extremely hard to detect. This is because the steroid hormones are present in a minimal concentration, with only one hormone molecule being present forever with quintillion water molecules.
A possible solution to this ongoing problem has been brought forth by some researchers who have successfully developed a new chemical process for removing these hormones. The new approach is enormously beneficial for the Water and Wastewater Treatment Chemicals Market as it has the advantage of the photocatalysis’ mechanisms which could transforms the pollutants into oxidation products that are potentially safe. Researchers revealed that using their method for only an hour would lead to water filtration of 60 to 600 liters per square meter of membrane. In addition, their findings indicate that concentrations of estradiol (the most biologically active steroid hormone) have considerably reduced by almost 98% from 100 – 2 nanograms per liter.
Using Conventional water treatment technologies in plants is not good enough to find or remove micropollutants. This is why researchers have been working towards developing new methods so that the micropollutants can be detected, measured as well as removed. Hence, this new photocatalytic process suggested by scientists looks to be promising.
To come up with this novel process, researchers coated a commercially accessible large-pore polymer membrane with Pd (II)-porphyrin (a palladium-consisting, light-sensitive molecule that can captivate visible radiation). Radiation exposure along with simulated sunlight helps to initiate a chemical process that produces singlet oxygen (a highly reactive oxygen species). The singlet oxygen is responsible for “attacking” the hormone molecules and converting them into safe oxidation products.
Through the new process, the chemical decomposition of steroid hormones and filtration of other pollutants can be achieved with a single module. Looking at these stats, needless to say, this makes targets set up by the EU. The team stated that their upcoming goal is to optimize the photocatalytic process further and bring it to a larger scale.
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