Advanced Nanomaterials for Water Engineering and Treatment: Nano-Metal Oxides and Their Nanocomposites

Advanced Nanomaterials for Water Engineering and Treatment: Nano-Metal Oxides and Their Nanocomposites

Rabia Nazir (Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Laboratories Complex, Pakistan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2136-5.ch005
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Loading of water with multifarious pollutants has dwindled the availability of quality fresh water and put questions on reliability and efficacy of conventional water treatment technologies. Also the quest for developing robust and cost-effective methods with minimum impact on environment had driven the focus of researchers and technologists on new technological developments. Nanotechnology – better referred as Aqua-nanotechnology in this regard provides scientists a new dimension to deal this big problem with small particles having application in 1) water treatment, 2) remediation, and 3) pollution prevention. This chapter will focus on fabrication and use of advance nanomaterials categorized as nanoadsorbents and nanoatalysts for these three main areas. A range of materials exploited in this regard are single and mixed metal oxides and their composites with polymer, clay, carbon based materials etc. while keeping focus on technological developments taken place over the period in regard with treating water and waste water.
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Access to safe and adequate water is the right of every individual living in this world but still 0.8 billion people according to WHO do not have access to quality drinking water and further 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation. The industrial revolution in addition to bestowing us with amenities of life had also resulted in the production of diverse nature of new chemicals and materials which degradation is becoming a serious concern. Hence, loading of water with these diverse nature of pollutants including disinfectants and their byproducts, inorganic and organic chemicals, radionuclides and even resistant strains of microbes has not only limited the fresh water availability but has greatly impacted the water quality. All this resulted in inadequate drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene, which are estimated to cause more than 0.8 million diarrheal disease deaths per year and contribute substantially to several other diseases. Loading of the above-mentioned diverse range of pollutants and emerging of new contaminants also requires new treatment technologies to address the provision of safe water – the search lead to utilization of nanotechnology for water cleanup and remediation.

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