Treehugger Waste seashells can help clean wastewater Treehugger The final step in wastewater treatment, sometimes called polishing, often uses a process called photocatalysis, which may be about to get cheaper and more environmentally friendlier,...
When treating wastewater, there are typically at least three stages in the process, with the first stage removing solids and oils, the second stage filtering the water, and the third stage improving the quality of the treated water before it gets released from the treatment plant. The third, or tertiary, treatment often uses a process called photocatalysis, which requires titanium dioxide to remove any final contaminants, such as fertilizers or pharmaceuticals, from the water.
But an alternative material could be used instead of titanium dioxide, which is an expensive component of the process, due to the recent work of Dr Darrell Patterson of the University of Bath's Department of Chemical Engineering.
Dr Patterson's process uses waste mussel shells, which are created by the ton by the shellfish industry, and which are just as effective, but much cheaper and more eco-friendly in the long run.