Carbon-metal oxide nano composites with high surface area for lead removal from water
Professor Xie, Mao Hai (Project coordinator)
Carbon-metal oxide, nano composites, lead removal from water
Others - Physical Sciences
HKU Project Code
Innovation and Technology Support Programme (Tier 3)
Lead contamination in drinking water in housing estates as well as schools has become a recent problem in Hong Kong. While there exist some commercial solutions for lead removal, there is an obvious and urgent need for further improvement of the existing technologies, which are mainly based either on carbon filters or Zn-Cu alloys. While carbon filters are inexpensive and simple to produce, their efficiency for heavy metal removal can be considerably improved. We propose the synthesis of carbon-metal oxide composite materials by simple, inexpensive, environmentally friendly and scalable hydrothermal process for efficient lead removal from drinking water. We will consider different forms of carbon with high surface area, from simple carbon fibers derived from natural sources to graphene aerogels. Composites with environmentally benign materials such as SiO2, TiO2, and iron oxide will be considered and their lead removal properties will be systematically tested. Our preliminary results indicate that the Fe2O3 composite can be 100 times more effective in removing Pb compared to pure carbon material (graphene oxide). The most promising materials in terms of the absolute performance, as well as the compromise between the cost and the performance, will be selected and the prototype filter devices will be constructed.