develop a catalyst capable of degrading antibiotics in wastewater

develop a catalyst capable of degrading antibiotics in wastewater
develop a catalyst capable of degrading antibiotics in wastewater

3D printing techniques: develop a catalyst capable of degrading antibiotics in sewage water. Scientists from the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) have used 3D printing to develop a catalyst capable of degrading antibiotics in wastewater. , published in the journal Science of The Total Environmentcan contribute to reduce the global problem of antibiotic resistancesignificantly improving the water treatment systems.

The development of new wastewater cleaning systems that allow a more complete elimination of antibiotics has become a priority in the face of the growing problem of the extensive use of these medications worldwide. The inability of current treatment plants to completely remove these compounds from human waste has caused them to be discharged into the environment, contributing to the development of resistant microorganisms.. This, in turn, reduces the effectiveness of antibiotics, endangering global public .

In this context, the MATELEC research group, from the Department of Applied Physical Chemistry of the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), stands out for its advances in the degradation and adsorption of organic contaminants through the synthesis of new materials. Focusing on the utilization of iron materials as potential catalysts for radical formation, these researchers have achieved promising results in the degradation of antibiotics such as tetracycline and ofloxacin.

Now in a work published in Science of The Total Environmentthis team has achieved an important advance by developing catalysts structured by combining polylactic acid and magnetite, synthesized in the laboratory from the oxidation of iron sheets.

They produce a catalyst capable of degrading antibiotics in wastewater

This mixture, used as “ink” for the 3d print, has allowed the authors to create lattice tubular monoliths with remarkable dispersion and chemical and mechanical stability. When applied in flow systems contaminated with ofloxacin, these monoliths achieved antibiotic degradation of up to 80%, maintaining an efficiency of 60% even after 7 days of continuous use. Furthermore, the same mixture was used to manufacture micropellets (125-200 µm) for use in fixed bed reactors, where practically total degradation of ofloxacin was achieved, which remained constant during the 26 hours of testing.

“Studies of the treated water showed extremely low iron leaching, indicating that 3D printing makes it possible to create supported catalysts with outstanding chemical stabilitysuitable for prolonged use and safe according to the standards of the World Health Organization,” the authors emphasize.

This work thus represents a significant step towards the creation of a new catalyst for antibiotic degradationwhich is characterized by its great stability and effectiveness in moderate conditions.

“The possibility of applying these and similar materials on a large scale for the treatment of large volumes of sewage water is a direction that deserves to be explored and prioritized to improve wastewater cleanliness and combat antibiotic resistance”conclude the authors.

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