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3D-printed structure to mitigate pollution – Business Standard

by • April 3, 2016 • No Comments

For the initially time, researchers have utilized commercial 3D printing equipment to turn it into a chemically active structure the dimensions of handheld sponge that acts to mitigate pollution.
The experiment, turn it intod with most off-the-shelf materials common to makers, hobbyists and home enthusiasts, puts the power of chemistry invention into the hands of folks bringing advantage of the 3D printing revolution, researchers said.
The researchers led by Matthew Hartings, professor at the American University, created a tiny structure the dimensions of handheld sponge.
They dispersed throughout plastic chemically active titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles. Implementing the same filament hobbyists use in the printing system of 3D-printed figures, researchers introduced the nanoparticles.
Implementing a 3D thermoplastic printing device, ubiquitous in making, the researchers printed a tiny, sponge-like plastic matrix.
Pollutants break down when effortless light interacts with TiO2, that has future applications in the removal of pollution of air, water and agricultural sources.
To demonstrate pollution mitigation, they placed the matrix in water and introduced an organic molecule (pollutant). The pollutant was destroyed. TiO2 in addition photocatalysed the degradation of a rhodamine 6G, a highly fluorescent dye in solution.
“It’s not only pollution, but there are all sorts of other chemical systemes that folks may be interested in. There are a variety of nanoparticles one may add to a polymer to print,” Hartings said.
One limitation of the research is that for the structure to print, the concentration of nanoparticles needed to be less than 10 per cent of total weight of the structure.
To have an efficient structure, a higher concentration may be needed, Hartings said.
The structure printed for this study was a easy shape. Harnessing the power of 3D-printing, the researchers’ upcoming step can be to print most exotic shapes to know how printed structure affects the chemical reactivity.
Because of the promising results, they have may already started experimenting with various printed geometries to determine an optimal printed shape for applications that involve photocatalytic removal of environmental pollutants.
The study was published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials.

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