Modifying water's structure as a low-energy method for removing pollutants

  • 23.10.2022
  • Phys.Org

Researchers from the University of Guelph (U of G) and scientists from the Canadian Light Source (CLS) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) are developing low-energy strategies to purify polluted water.

"We've been looking at the purification of surface water, groundwater and wastewater," says Erica Pensini, Associate Professor in the School of Engineering at U of G. "We found that it was possible to use molecules that are both water-loving and oil-loving to separate solvents from water."

The team used the Mid-IR and Brockhouse beamlines to investigate the efficacy of their technique and visualize the ways the molecules interact. Their findings were recently published in Physics of Fluids.

"We can see little droplets that are starting to separate from the water and can understand how those molecules self-assemble and how they interact with each other," says Pensini.