Pakistani scientists develop new technology for cheaper water filtration through watermelon

Pakistani scientists develop new technology for cheaper water filtration through watermelon
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LAHORE - Pakistani Researchers at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) have found out a new cheaper technology for water filtration .

Researchers have developed a new technology to filter arsenic out of polluted water using watermelon rind, a local news outlet link reported.

The cost-effective technology was developed after examining natural biowastes for arsenic removal after which it was discovered that chemically modified “xanted watermelon rind” is effective in catching arsenic which is usually found in abundance in groundwater. This method proved to remove 95 per cent of arsenic in polluted water.

The filter is developed by first washing watermelon rind to remove dirt. It is then heated to dry in sunlight and oven. The dried rind is then turned into powder in an electric grinder. Xanthated watermelon rind’s next phase is a fine example of chemistry as the powder is treated with sulfuric acid, which opens the biopolymer rings of the material and exposes many surface functional groups for reaction. The UAF team then treated it with Carbon disulfide – as sulfide has a unique quality to bind arsenic from water and the xanthated watermelon filter material is almost ready.

Speaking to a local news outlet, Dr Nabeel Khan Niazi, the supervisor of the research, said that the filter would cost around Rs5,000 to Rs6,000 whereas other filters cost around Rs20,000 to Rs25,000.

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