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Sunday , September 26 2021

Discarded face masks in Kuwait used for purifying polluted water

‘Water purifier’ accepted for publication

KUWAIT CITY, July 15: Presented by Dr. Ali Boumejdad and Dr. Muhammad Jakar Khan from the Department of Chemistry of the College of Science at the Kuwait University, a new scientific research that turns contaminated masks into materials used for purifying polluted water, has been accepted for publication in the prestigious Journal of Engineering and Chemical Industry, reports Al-Seyassah daily.

Photo shows indiscriminately discarded face masks. A new scientific research by Dr. Ali Boumejdad and Dr. Muhammad Jakar Khan from the Department of Chemistry of the College of Science at the Kuwait University that turns contaminated masks into materials used for purifying polluted water, has been accepted for publication in the prestigious Journal of Engineering and Chemical Industry

Bio-waste
The Kuwait University said in a press statement the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) supported this research which is related to the preparation of an environmentally friendly catalytic carbon with nanopores (a pore or cavity with dimensions of only a few nanometers) from sources of bio-waste available in the region, ‘sedge cane plant’ for the purpose of using it to purify water contaminated with heavy metals in Kuwait. The KU sources indicated that this research work was carried out during the Covid-19 pandemic, a period in which the use of single-use medical masks increased significantly in the world in general and in Kuwait in particular, where scientists estimate the quantity used of these masks at the global level is 200 billion per month.

The Kuwaiti research team has devised a way to take advantage of these materials that contain plastic materials in a way that is beneficial to the environment by making use of their components to improve the characteristics of catalytic carbon and make it more capable of removing pollutants from the water. The sources added that this matter increased the environmental benefit of the research, as it harnessed organic plant waste, “usually burned, causing the emission of carbon dioxide, which is known as the warmest gas circulating in the atmosphere, which exacerbates the problem of global warming” in the preparation of carbon materials used in purifying polluted water and improved the characteristics of these materials by making use of another pollutant that contains plastic materials that have signifi- cantly increased their consumption globally and locally.

Reusing
Dr. Boumejdad believes the results of the research will be useful in the field of reusing plastic that is harmful to the environment, whose quantity has increased significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic due to the use of single-use masks that “we began to see thrown away in the streets, open areas, parking lots, etc. Dr. Boumejdad thanked KFAS for supporting the research which is being carried out currently under his supervision. He expected that the results of the research team will lead in the near future to other valuable research related to converting other local organic waste into environmentally friendly materials and its experiment in removing pollutants from Kuwaiti local water, as the initial results obtained by the team are encouraging.

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