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July 13th, 2009
Stopping chemical dye waste from polluting rivers and waterways could be much easier in future, thanks to a cheap and recyclable metal oxide cleaning system developed by researchers in the US and China.
The process uses a novel nanostructured material that can suck dye molecules out of wastewater like a sponge. Made from nickel oxide, it can then be heated in an oven to burn off the dye molecules - allowing the material to be reused.
'In China, about 1.6 billion tons of dye-containing wastewater is produced every year, but only a small proportion of this is recycled,' says Juncheng Hu, who worked on the Chinese side of the project at the South-Central University for Nationalities in Wuhan.
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