City University of Hong Kong

Treating wastewater with functional magnetic nanoparticles

Treating wastewater with functional magnetic nanoparticlesProf Irene M. C. Lo, Fellow Academician of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, presented the advancement in designing magnetic nanoparticles for wastewater treatment at the inaugural SEE Colloquium.

The Dean of SEE, Prof Chak K. Chan, earlier officiated the event aimed at promoting the latest advancements in Energy, Environment and Sustainability.

Impressing an audience of academics, students and the general public, Prof Lo showcased the evolutionary development carried out by her team on the synthesis of high specific surface area magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, their surface functionalization, to the removal of different trace heavy metal ions from contaminated water.

The technology overcomes the daunting task of high-energy recovery typically associated with nanoparticles as a result of their poor sedimentation properties.

To implement the technology in the real world, Prof Lo and her team engineered an in-house, electrically-driven magnetic separator to efficiently recover the particles from the treated water for repeated usage.

Lastly, Prof Lo showed the efficacy of her pilot system in removing chromium ions from raw electroplating wastewater, as well as phosphate ions from river water to prevent algae bloom.