A new type of environmentally friendly solvent design | Urik Alert!

2021-11-12 11:27:03 By : Mr. Cloude Zhang

Picture: Soledad Rubio (left) and Ana Ballesteros, the two authors of the study, conducted an experiment in the laboratory. see more 

Image source: University of Cordoba

Petroleum solvents contain a large amount of volatile pollutants, which account for a large part of global industrial emissions. Therefore, in recent decades, finding sustainable solvents has become the top priority of the chemical industry. Following these ideas, a research team at the University of Cordoba managed to produce a new environmentally friendly substance that can extract pollutants from the environment, which is particularly useful for water purification.

This green solvent, abbreviated as SUPRAS in English, has been in full swing in recent years due to its low toxicity, but it also has certain drawbacks. "When used in large amounts of water, their behavior is unstable, and some solvents are lost during the decontamination process," explained Ana Ballesteros, a researcher in the "Supramolecular Analytical Chemistry" team, who worked with Encarnación Romera-García and Soledad Rubio The professor conducted the research. 

The research has taken a step in this direction by synthesizing a new substance, which is more stable under different temperature, pH and salinity conditions than other ecological solvents.

Ramnolipids: When bacteria "reach out a helping hand"

The team designed this sustainable solvent using renewable resources: a substance called rhamnolipids whose main feature is that they are naturally produced by a group of Pseudomonas bacteria that are widespread in nature.

As one of the authors of the study explained, solvents can "attract" polluting molecules, thanks to their ability to interact with them. It is then separated from the water and then purified by a decantation process, which is a simple separation process due to the difference in density between water and solvent. 

Ana Ballesteros explained that this work was carried out with natural water and added different pollutants, which will then be applied to wastewater samples, such as textiles, where dye contamination is very frequent. In any case, this research represents a new way to replace petroleum synthetic products with biodegradable and renewable solvents.  

Environmentally stable supramolecular biosolvent: characterization and study of its potential to eliminate polar toxic substances in water

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Copyright © 2021 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Copyright © 2021 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)