Environment researchers to deploy nanotechnology for waste management

Researchers from the Department of Environmental Engineering, Government College of Technology, Coimbatore are developing a technology wherein nanoparticles will be used for waste management.

The researchers have been testing with different types of nanoparticles to treat a variety of effluents and waste ranging from domestic sewage to dyeing effluents and oils.

Nanotechnology is used for water management, waste water management, solid waste management and air quality management by applying nanomaterials.

Carbon materials such as carbon nanotubes and other composite nanomaterials are used to remove effluent materials from waste water.

Some of the researchers also use nano-fibres to remove endocrine disrupting chemicals in domestic sewage by using carbon nanotubes to remove dyes from dyeing industry effluents and nano-membranes in oil waste water management.

The researchers mention that the nanomaterials have a high surface area by which they remove undesirable substances using the process of absorption. In this process, particles stick to the surface area of the nanomaterials and are removed through filtration or coagulation processes.

According to the department head, the researchers are working on two broad areas, nanotechnology and biotechnology. The biotechnology researchers are working on to extract bio-fuels from waste through fermentation.

Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQUIP) is funding this research study. Funds of Rs 5 crore and Rs 3 crore have been received by the centre under phase II and phase-III.

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