SUSTAINABLE HYDROGEL (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     13th April 2024        
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Context: Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have designed a sustainable hydrogel to remove microplastics from water.


Hydrogel

  • About: Hydrogels are polymer chain networks that can store more than 90% of water in the space between the polymer chains. They are sometimes found as colloidal gels. 

oThis hydrogel possesses the capability to bind contaminants and degrade them through UV light exposure.

  • Water Retention Capability: Their hydrophilic nature enables hydrogels to retain substantial amounts of water within their three-dimensional networks.
  • Microplastic Removal Efficiency: Studies have demonstrated the high efficiency of hydrogels, with removal rates of approximately 95% and 93% for two distinct types of microplastics from water.
  • pH Sensitivity: Hydrogels exhibit notable efficacy even at near-neutral pH levels, around 6.5.

The sustainable hydrogel: Designed by the researchers has a unique intertwined polymer network that can bind the contaminants and degrade them using UV light irradiation.

 

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