Indian scientists have developed an eco-friendly nanotechnology for water-softening applications that could be used in civic water treatment plants for generating potable water, said the official of a technical institute.
The team from Institute of Advance Study in Science & Technology (IASST) in Assam's Guwahati, crafted a biopolymer using a naturally occurring substance, called chitosan (obtained from the hard outer skeleton of shellfish, including crab, lobster, and shrimp) as a backbone for the carbon nanoparticles to sit on.
"In the biopolymer, nanoparticles are the functional parts of the technology. They remove calcium and magnesium components of water through ion exchange, the same process that is used by common water purifiers," Devasish Chowdhury, associate professor, physical sciences division, IASST, told IANS.
"This material, we report, is the first of its kind with potential to act as a biodegradable and green material for water-softening applications," he said.
Published online on March 30 in the joural Nanoscale, the work involved IASST's Upama Baruah and Achyut Konwar.
While convention water-softening techniques use synthetic resins, Chowdhury said that the novel technology is biodegradable as well.
"We have applied it to pond water sample successfully. This could be used in civic water treatment plants since they do not have very effective water-softening methods and the resulting treated water is very crude," he added.