RISE ICT stories: Using magnetic technology for water purification

Water

RISE Acreo is part of a water-purification research group together with Chalmers Industriteknik, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, SP Technical Research Institute and Chalmers University of Technology.

The group’s research project involves tailoring micrometer-scale magnetic particles so that they bind specifically to unwanted substances in water. The magnetic properties of the particles allow them to be removed from the water, along with the bound pollutants, using an optimized magnetic-separation system.

Christer Johansson from Acreo is an expert in magnetic materials and magnetic analytical methods. He explains:

“We will be involved in developing the magnetic separation process, the magnetic properties of the magnetic particles, and identifying ways to measure what quantities of the pollutants are bound to the magnetic particles.”

The project is divided into a series of stages, and will continue until the end of 2017. Project manager Christian Jonasson from Acreo says:

“First we have to develop particles with the right magnetic properties, where the surface characteristics are adjusted so that they attach specifically to pollutant substances that we want to remove from the water. The aim is then to try to demonstrate the principle for the separation process in a laboratory-scale demonstration.”

The project has two overarching goals. The first is to demonstrate the possibility of using functionalized magnetic particles to selectively remove metal ions from industrial waste water. The second is to increase understanding of the new technology and evaluate how it can complement the purification methods currently in use, and eventually contribute to a better environment.

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