Researchers have used the same material found in air fresheners, cyclodextrin, to develop a technique that could revolutionize the water-purification industry.
The team, led by Will Dichtel, associate professor at Cornell University in US developed a porous form of cyclodextrin that has displayed uptake of pollutants through adsorption at rates vastly superior to traditional activated carbon, 200 times greater in some cases.
Activated carbons have the advantage of larger surface area than previous polymers made from cyclodextrin but they do not bind pollutants as strongly as cyclodextrin.
"What we did is make the first high-surface-area material made of cyclodextrin combining some of the advantages of the activated carbon with the inherent advantages of the cyclodextrin," Dichtel said.
"These materials will remove pollutants in seconds, as the water flows by," he said. The cyclodextrin-containing polymer features easier, cheaper regeneration, so it can be reused many times with no observed loss in performance.


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