by Keyword: Water treatment
Vilela, Diana, Guix, Maria, Parmar, Jemish, Blanco‐Blanes, Àngel, Sánchez, Samuel, (2022). Micromotor‐in‐Sponge Platform for Multicycle Large‐Volume Degradation of Organic Pollutants Small 18, 2107619
The presence of organic pollutants in the environment is a global threat to human health and ecosystems due to their bioaccumulation and long-term persistence. Hereby a micromotor-in-sponge concept is presented that aims not only at pollutant removal, but towards an efficient in situ degradation by exploiting the synergy between the sponge hydrophobic nature and the rapid pollutant degradation promoted by the cobalt-ferrite (CFO) micromotors embedded at the sponge's core. Such a platform allows the use of extremely low fuel concentration (0.13% H2 O2 ), as well as its reusability and easy recovery. Moreover, the authors demonstrate an efficient multicycle pollutant degradation and treatment of large volumes (1 L in 15 min) by using multiple sponges. Such a fast degradation process is due to the CFO bubble-propulsion motion mechanism, which induces both an enhanced fluid mixing within the sponge and an outward flow that allows a rapid fluid exchange. Also, the magnetic control of the system is demonstrated, guiding the sponge position during the degradation process. The micromotor-in-sponge configuration can be extrapolated to other catalytic micromotors, establishing an alternative platform for an easier implementation and recovery of micromotors in real environmental applications.© 2022 Wiley-VCH GmbH.
JTD Keywords: effective removal, fabrication, microbots, microjets, organic pollutants, propelled micromotors, self-propelled micromotors, sponges, water treatment, Oil-water separation, Organic pollutants, Water treatment
Parmar, J., Villa, K., Vilela, D., Sánchez, S., (2017). Platinum-free cobalt ferrite based micromotors for antibiotic removal Applied Materials Today 9, 605-611
Self-propelled micromotors have previously shown to enhance pollutant removal compared to non-motile nano-micro particles. However, these systems are expensive, difficult to scale-up and require surfactant for efficient work. Efficient and inexpensive micromotors are desirable for their practical applications in water treatment technologies. We describe cobalt-ferrite based micromotors (CFO micromotors) fabricated by a facile and scalable synthesis, that produce hydroxyl radicals via Fenton-like reaction and take advantage of oxygen gas generated during this reaction for self-propulsion. Once the reaction is complete, the CFO micromotors can be easily separated and collected due to their magnetic nature. The CFO micromotors are demonstrated for highly efficient advanced oxidative removal of tetracycline antibiotic from the water. Furthermore, the effects of different concentrations of micromotors and hydrogen peroxide on the antibiotic degradation were studied, as well as the generation of the highly reactive hydroxyl radicals responsible for the oxidation reaction.
JTD Keywords: Degradation, Fenton reaction, Microbots, Nanomotors, Self-propelled Micromotors, Water treatment
Parmar, J., Vilela, D., Pellicer, E., Esqué-de los Ojos, D., Sort, J., Sánchez, S., (2016). Reusable and long-lasting active microcleaners for heterogeneous water remediation Advanced Functional Materials 26, (23), 4152-4161
Self-powered micromachines are promising tools for future environmental remediation technology. Waste-water treatment and water reuse is an essential part of environmental sustainability. Herein, we present reusable Fe/Pt multi-functional active microcleaners that are capable of degrading organic pollutants (malachite green and 4-nitrophenol) by generated hydroxyl radicals via a Fenton-like reaction. Various different properties of microcleaners, such as the effect of their size, short-term storage, long-term storage, reusability, continuous swimming capability, surface composition, and mechanical properties, are studied. It is found that these microcleaners can continuously swim for more than 24 hours and can be stored more than 5 weeks during multiple cleaning cycles. The produced microcleaners can also be reused, which reduces the cost of the process. During the reuse cycles the outer iron surface of the Fe/Pt microcleaners generates the in-situ, heterogeneous Fenton catalyst and releases a low concentration of iron into the treated water, while the mechanical properties also appear to be improved due to both its surface composition and structural changes. The microcleaners are characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), nanoindentation, and finite-element modeling (FEM).
JTD Keywords: Catalysts, Heterogeneous catalysis, Microcleaners, Micromotors, Nanorobots, Wastewater treatment