Ultrasound Might Rid Groundwater of Forever Chemicals

Research from Ohio State may provide a solution for ridding groundwater of pervasive forever chemicals, and it utilizes ultrasound technology. In lab experiments, researchers have found that the waves created by the ultrasound can compress and pull apart the forever chemicals, which can aid in further breakdown of the forever chemicals over a short period of time. This contrasts with previous treatment methods that struggle with smaller PFAS samplings.

While further information is needed on how this technique can scale up for larger anti-contamination efforts, the study notes that the researchers’ work can aid in creating smaller, high-energy filtration devices for public use, particularly inside homes. This work is co-authored by professors Linda Weavers and William P. Fagan, alongside graduate research associate Shannon R. Thayer.


Researchers Build Solar Power Device to Clean Wastewater

In a shift to improve energy efficiency for seawater and wastewater, researchers at the Zhejiang Ocean University in Zhoushan, China, have designed a device that creates potable water using solar power and domestic and industrial wastewater. The proposed device, the CCMs-x, is reported to remove up to 95 percent of a water source’s pollutants in less than an hour, exceedingly quicker and more energy-efficient than normal treatment options. It uses a nanocomposite of both organic and inorganic materials, and the efficiency is only increased by the use of photothermal materials, which allows the CCMs-x to capture light and produce steam from its heat. This steam production allows impurities to be separated from the water in an environmentally conscious method.


Water Fleas Useful in Filtering Wastewater Pollutants

While water-treatment plants can detect and eliminate most chemical pollutants in their facilities, some pollutants remain. However, those remnant chemicals have a new adversary: water fleas. New research from Luisa Orsini at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom has found that water fleas, crustaceans that are only micrometers in size, have a unique ability to filter-feed on some of the most harmful chemicals to public health: diclofenac, atrazine, arsenic, and PFOS. Their use would be a low-cost, scalable, and eco-friendly alternative to many of the practices used today. The water fleas have been able to remove large percentages of harmful chemicals from bodies of water. The fleas were first being tested in an aquarium then tested on increasingly larger water volumes.


Emory Led Study Finds More Forever Chemicals

While concerns for legacy chemicals like PFAS have been made known by numerous organizations, Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health recently made headlines with the news that PFAS replacements are also being found in concerning areas. These replacements—short and ultrashort-chain PFAS—were intended to replace banned PFAS chemicals, but research and sampling from home environments have found them in water supplies, homes, and even in United States residents. Researchers note that these new chain PFAS have an increased mobility over legacy PFAS, especially in water. While their sources have yet to be determined, the Emory-led research team highlights the urgency for further research and risk assessment for the impact of this compound.



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