Iranian Scientists Discover New Catalyst to Remove Pharmaceutical Compounds from Wastewater.

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian researchers from Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences produced the laboratorial sample of a nanocatalyst with high efficiency in the elimination of pharmaceutical compounds from wastewater.

The nanocatalyst is easily separated from the solution due to its magnetic properties and it can be reused.

The presence of pharmaceutical compounds, specially antibiotics, in water is usually a ratio of wastes caused by pharmaceutical industries, personal care products and medications used in hospitals and clinics. The majority of treatment units to refine wastewater are able to eliminate about 60-90% of antibiotics, and the rest directly diffuses into water. Therefore, it is necessary to apply more effective and efficient methods to eliminate the pollutants.

The aim of the research was to synthesize a magnetic catalyst to remove tetracycline from aqueous environment. Efforts were also made to select a method by using nanotechnology to decrease the costs and avoid the problems in the separation of catalyst used during the purification process through filtration and centrifugal methods.

The synthesized catalyst (active carbon powder/magnetite (PAC/Fe3O4 MNPs)) enjoys highly good capabilities to remove tetracycline. Therefore, it can be used as an effective catalyst to decompose and oxidize pollutants in case it is being mass-produced. In addition, the reaction cost will be reduced due to high efficiency of magnetic catalyst and the ability to be reused and separated quickly.

Results showed that high amount of tetracycline and acceptable percentage of all organic carbon existing in the samples was removed due to the process under optimum conditions after four times of catalyst application.

Results of the research have been published in RSC Advances, vol. 5, issue 103, 2015, pp. 84718-84727.

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