To begin with, there is an increasing concern regarding the overexploitation of natural resources in the Balearic Island, which has led to a range of measures being rolled out across.
Recent research by the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies holds that an estimated 75million plastic particles weighing over 3.7tons exist in the sea between Mallorca and Menorca, majority of which are microplastics, less than 5millimeters in size.
Several technologies have however been designed to effectively remove these microplastics but they are expensive, difficult to install in existing facilities, and are only used when high-quality standards are required.
A group of chemistry postgraduates under Gemma Turnes, Mallorca’s University of the Balearic Island, have invented a hybrid substance that is capable of extracting polluting materials from water.
The substance in question has a metal-organic framework (MOF-74) and porous carbon that can be used with a magnet to clean up marine environs.
A researcher by name Mateo del Rio, who is investigating solutions for water pollution problems for his PhD thesis, has applauded this great inventory. He explained that the material is perfect for eliminating pollutants because of its chemical and thermal stability. Rio also added that the material is quite easy to regenerate.
In a publication inside the ACS Applied Materials and interfaces scientific journal, the young chemist wrote that the new hybrid material can eradicate contaminants from water in just 10minutes.
As a result, the material may be used to clean small samples of polluted water and in sea pollution monitoring. He equally stressed on the necessity to educate society on reasons to protect the environment from pollution.
“There is need to diagnose where the problem is to act fast, in response to natural disasters”, he reveals as he looks forward to extracting water samples from the Bay of Palma to be investigated by the group to define the pollution intensities.