Scientists transform black soot into a boon for water purification

• Hitting two birds with one stone, a group of Indian scientists have come up with a new process which promises to help utilize black carbon soot, which is a major air pollutant, for treating industrial waste containing highly poisonous organic dyes.

• The scientists have developed two techniques: one to convert black soot into graphene nanosheets, and the second to utilize the nanosheets to remove organic dyes such as crystal violet, rhodamine B, and methylene blue from industrial waste.

Key highlights of this findings

• Black carbon soot is emitted from gas and diesel engines, coal-fired power plants and other processes that involve burning of fossil fuel.

• It is known to be highly carcinogenic.

• Organic dyes, in turn, are an important component of industrial waste and are generally non-biodegradable and deadly.

• They enter water bodies and make them not only unfit for human consumption but also highly poisonous.

• Treatment of waste water with organic dyes has remained a major challenge. The currently available methods are generally costly and cumbersome.

• According to the scientists involved in the development of the new process, it would offer a cost-effective and sustainable solution.

• The scientists tested the sustainability and the suitability of the overall process by using the treated water for growing wheat.

• Seeds which had been germinated for 24 hours were used. Their growth was normal and healthy as compared to those grown with untreated water.

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Mains Paper 3: Science and Technology | Achievement of Indians in science & technology

Prelims level: Black Carbon Soot

Mains level: Effective treatment of Waste water

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