Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

World’s First Water Treatment Techniques Using Apple and Tomato Peels

Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Low cost and efficient, the novel water purification methods could benefit economically and technologically disadvantaged communities.

One of the most crucial problems affecting the world today is the scarcity of potable water. In a bid to make clean water available at low cost, Mr Ramakrishna Mallampati, a PhD candidate at the National University of Singapore (NUS), experimented with water treatment techniques using  materials that are easily available, and came up with novel ways to purify water using the peels of apples and tomatoes. This is the first time that the peels of the two fruits have been used to remove different types of pollutants in water.

The studies were conducted under the guidance of Associate Professor Suresh Valiyaveettil of the Department of Chemistry at the NUS Faculty of Science. The NUS team hopes that their water purification methods can benefit communities living in places where there is little electricity or resources to set up a water purification plant.

Scarcity of clean water

The scarcity of clean water is expected to worsen in the future due to over usage, lack of conservation methods and dwindling natural supply of clean water, even in countries with significant water resources.

Many hazardous pollutants enter the water supply through many channels, including waste disposal, industry effluent release or rain water drainage. Such pollutants need to be removed before the water can be consumed. However, most water purification technologies are not accessible to economically disadvantaged people around the world.

The challenge for scientists is to develop robust water purification methods that could carry out water treatment at low cost, with minimal energy consumption and using less chemicals in the process so as to reduce negative impact on the environment.

Tomato peel: an efficient adsorbent for water purification


Tomato is the second most consumed vegetable in the world, with approximately 30 per cent consumed as processed products. The disposal of the tomato skin and its other fibrous materials is an economic waste for many food processing industries.

Mr Ramakrishna evaluated the effectiveness of tomato peel as an adsorbent by using different pollutants. He also studied the structure of the tomato peels to assess their efficiency as biomaterials to remove toxic metal ions and organic pollutants from water. In addition, factors such as the pH, nature and amount of adsorbent used for extraction were considered to establish the optimum conditions under which tomato peel could remove various pollutants from water.

His study revealed that tomato peels can effectively remove different contaminants in water, including dissolved organic and inorganic chemicals, dyes and pesticides, and they can also be used in large scale applications. The results were published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal RSC Advances in September 2012.

Apple peel: a biomass for water purification

In addition to tomato peels, Mr Ramakrishna also explored the viability of using the peels of apples for water purification, as apple peels are easily available as biowaste from food processing industries and they are biodegradable.

Similar to tomato peels, apple peels can also remove a range of dissolved water pollutants through the adsorption process. In order to enhance the ability of apple peels towards extraction of negatively charged pollutants, Mr Ramakrishna immobilised naturally occurring zirconium oxides onto the surface of apple peels. Zirconium loaded apple peels were found to be able to extract anions such as phosphate, arsenate, arsenite, and chromate ions from aqueous solutions. This method of water purification can also be used for large scale applications.

The findings are published in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces in May 2013.

Research findings to benefit communities living in remote villages

Both Mr Ramakrishna and Assoc Prof Suresh hope that the findings on the use apple and tomato peels for water purification can be applied to benefit economically and technologically disadvantaged farmers living in remote villages, who depend on contaminated ground water or local rivers for their daily water needs. They intend to work with non-governmental organisations to transfer their research findings and knowledge to benefit the people.

Mr Ramakrishna and other students in Assoc Prof Suresh’s research group are now looking into the use of other fruit peels and natural fibers for water purification.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 4,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 5,300+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Nimbolide Could Suppress Prostate Cancer Development
Oral administration of nimbolide over 12 weeks shows reduction of prostate tumour size and decrease in tumour metastasis.
Monday, October 03, 2016
NUS Study Uncovers Novel Genetic Alterations Contributing to Development of Leukemia
Findings from the international study involving about 220 newly diagnosed and relapse patient samples pave the way for development of new therapies.
Monday, August 08, 2016
Artemisinin Mechanism Uncovered
New understanding of how artemisinin works could facilitate development of new drugs and therapeutic strategies against malaria.
Tuesday, January 05, 2016
The Mending Tissue - Cellular Instructions for Tissue Repair
NUS-led collaborative study identifies universal mechanism that explains how tissue shape regulates physiological processes such as wound healing and embryo development.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Nanodiamonds Deliver Cancer Drug To Kill Chemoresistant Cancer Stem Cells More Effectively
Delivery of Epirubicin by nanodiamonds resulted in a normally lethal dosage of Epirubicin becoming a safe and effective dosage for treatment of liver cancer.
Monday, January 26, 2015
Novel Solutions to Fight the Obesity Gene
Potent inhibitors a potential new class of anti-obesity drugs that target one of the most common genetic causes of obesity.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Fluorescent Sensor Detects Date Rape Drug Within Seconds
The sensor, developed by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS), identifies the presence of GHB, a drug known commonly used to spike beverages.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Scientific News
Big Genetics in BC: The American Society for Human Genetics 2016 Meeting
Themes at this year's meeting ranged from the verification, validation, and sharing of data, to the translation of laboratory findings into actionable clinical results.
Stem Cells in Drug Discovery
Potential Source of Unlimited Human Test Cells, but Roadblocks Remain.
Cancer Genetics: Key to Diagnosis, Therapy
When applied judiciously, cancer genetics directs caregivers to the right drug at the right time, while sparing patients of unnecessary or harmful treatments.
Transporting Microscopic Cargo Between Human Cells
Scientists have developed a virus-inspired delivery system for material transport between cells.
Tissue Damage Is Key for Cell Reprogramming
Researchers have shown tissue damage is important for cells to return to an embryonic state for cell reprogramming.
Metabolite Promotes Cancer Cell Transformation
Researchers have identified a metabolite that promotes cancer cell transformation and colorectal cancer spread.
Improving Drug Production with Computer Model
A model has been developed that can be used to improve and accelerate the production of biotherapeutics, cancer drugs, and vaccines.
Bird Flu Confirmed in the Netherlands
An outbreak of H5 avian influenza was confirmed in the Flevoland province of the Netherlands.
Pasteurised Bacterium Reduces Obesity and Diabetes
Researchers have discovered that an intestinal bacterium provides a lasting effect on the intestinal barrier.
Turning Off Asthma Attacks
Researchers discover a critical cellular “off” switch for the inflammatory immune response that causes asthma attacks.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
4,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,300+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!