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Researchers from Tshwane University of Technology Report New Studies and Findings in the Area of Nanoparticles (Stability studies of commercial ZnO...

August 6, 2014

Researchers from Tshwane University of Technology Report New Studies and Findings in the Area of Nanoparticles (Stability studies of commercial ZnO engineered nanoparticles in domestic wastewater)

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- Investigators publish new report on Nanoparticles. According to news originating from Pretoria, South Africa, by VerticalNews correspondents, research stated, "Most wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) employ activated sludge processes to treat wastewater. The bacteria found in these systems degrade organic matter but are very sensitive to toxic compounds such as heavy metals, among others."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the Tshwane University of Technology, "The impact of emerging contaminants, such as engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) on the treatment efficiency of WWTPs is yet to be fully elucidated. The effects of physicochemical parameters; the pH and ionic strength on ZnO ENPs in domestic wastewater were investigated to establish their fate and behavior in wastewater treatment systems, as well as potential release into the environment if they pass untreated. Our findings showed a decrease in zinc concentration in the filtrate as pH and ionic strength increased which indicated its possible removal through the abiotic, biosorption, and biosolid settling mechanisms. This phenomenon was further confirmed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images which showed agglomerates of ZnO ENPs in wastewater compared with de-ionized water. The dynamic light scattering (DLS) analysis of ZnO ENPs suspension in the wastewater showed their stability over a period of 2 h, with energy dispersive X-ray (EDS) analysis showing the presence of zinc on the sludge surface, while X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis confirmed the presence of ZnO ENPs in the sludge over typical wastewater pH ranges."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "The results of this study will inform the integrated water management on the impact of nanotechnology based industries and the best approach in handling wastewater treatment products."

For more information on this research see: Stability studies of commercial ZnO engineered nanoparticles in domestic wastewater. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, 2014;67-69():140-144. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth can be contacted at: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd, The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1GB, England. (Elsevier -; Physics and Chemistry of the Earth -

The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from E.F.C. Chauque, Tshwane Univ Technol, Dept. of Chem & Met Engn, Pretoria, South Africa. Additional authors for this research include J.N. Zvimba, J.C. Ngila and N. Musee.

Keywords for this news article include: Pretoria, Engineering, South Africa, Nanotechnology, Emerging Technologies

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Source: Journal of Engineering

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