Chinese scientists have developed a metal-free catalyst that can purify pathogen-rich water in half an hour.
The study published in the latest version of journal Chem described the method that could produce drinking water in 30 minutes with a disinfection efficiency over 99.9999 percent under visible light.
To disinfect water with sunlight and with metal is cost-effective but leads to second pollution. The metal-free catalysts, however, tend to have lower efficiency, according to the study.
Researchers from Yangzhou University and the Institute of Process Engineering (IPE) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences developed a material based on graphitic carbon nitride.
They used wet-chemical method to introduce certain chemical groups at the edges of graphitic carbon nitride, significantly improving its ability to disinfect.
"Its first-order disinfection rate was five times higher than that of previously reported best metal-free photocatalysts with only one tenth catalyst consumption," said the paper's co-author Wang Chengyin from Yangzhou University.
This catalyst can be fixed on substrates, reducing the potential toxicity caused by dispersed nano-materials in drinkable water, according to the study. (Xinhua)
International Cooperation Office, Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, P. R. China.