Environment

Water-purifying tech brings new meaning to "coffee foam"

Water-purifying tech brings ne...
There's now yet another use for used coffee grounds like these
There's now yet another use for used coffee grounds like these
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There's now yet another use for used coffee grounds like these
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There's now yet another use for used coffee grounds like these

Scientists already know that powder made from spent coffee grounds can be used to rid water of harmful heavy metal ions … that's all well and good, but the powder then needs to be filtered out of the water. A group of Italian scientists has developed a step-saving alternative, in the form of a filter made of coffee-impregnated foam.

Led by Despina Fragouli of Genoa's Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, the researchers created a foam filter made from 60 percent spent coffee powder (by weight) and 40 percent silicone elastomer.

Sitting in still, contaminated water, the material removed up to 99 percent of lead and mercury ions from the water over a period of 30 hours. In a setup where tainted water flowed through the filter, the foam took out up to 67 percent of the lead ions. And, unlike the case with loose coffee powder, the filter could just be pulled out and discarded after use.

The research is described in a paper that was recently published in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.

If other projects are anything to go by, one could almost be surprised that coffee grounds are still simply disposed of at all. Among other things, they've been shown to be an effective carbon capture medium, sustainable road material, biofuel, sewer gas filter, and a source of useful succinic acid.

Source: American Chemical Society

2 comments
Ramesh037
I use the coffee powder as manure for Ginger plants after making coffee. I have seen an article that writes that one can use it for growing oyster mushrooms. I shall try what this article writes.
amazed W1
Useful to know, but should we really put the heavy metal ions back into the environment in an uncontrolled way?