Coffee-infused foam removes lead from contaminated water

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As we all know, coffee is one of the most popular drinks. But it creates lots of waste from used grounds. So, scientists found a new approach to reducing this waste and helping address another environmental problem. They combined some spent coffee grounds in a foam filter. It can remove harmful lead and mercury from water.

Restaurants, food beverages, and people at home produce millions of tons of used coffee grounds. Some waste goes to landfills, and some are used as fertilizer or mixed with animal food.

So, scientists are now studying to use this possible material for water remediation. They show that powder made from spent coffee grounds can rid water of heavy metal ions, which can cause health problems. Still, another step is required to separate the powder from the purified water.

Scientists combined spent powder in a Bioelastomeric foam. The foam mimic as a filter. It comprises 60 wt% of spent coffee powder and 40 wt% of silicone elastomer. In still water, the foam removed more than 99 percent of lead and mercury ions from water.

It can be used for the continuous filtration and removal of metal ions from water. Combining the powder in a solid porous allows the accumulation of the pollutants into the foams enabling their safe disposal. In a more practical test in which lead-contaminated water flowed through the foam, it scrubbed the water of up to 67 percent of the lead ions.

Scientists said, “Because coffee is immobilize, it is easy to handle and discard after use without any additional steps.”

Journal Reference

  1. Asmita A. Chavan et al. Spent Coffee Bioelastomeric Composite Foams for the Removal of Pband Hgfrom Water, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering (2016). DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.6b01098
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