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Innovative Wastewater Treatment Using Gold Nanoclusters and Ultraviolet Light


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In a breakthrough study at Flinders University, researchers have developed a novel solution to tackle the environmental challenge posed by dyes used in various industries such as textiles, food, and cosmetics. The new method utilizes a chemical photocatalysis process powered by ultraviolet light to degrade and potentially remove harmful organic chemicals, including azo dyes, from wastewater.

The key to this innovative process is the creation of metallic clusters composed of nine gold atoms, which are chemically anchored to titanium dioxide. This combination enhances the photocatalytic capabilities of titanium dioxide, significantly reducing the reaction time. Professor Gunther Andersson from the Flinders Institute for NanoScale Science and Technology explains that these systems can effectively convert a wide range of organic pollutants into water and carbon dioxide with high efficiency.

The research team also explored the application of this gold cluster cocatalyst in the degradation of methyl orange, a commonly used water-soluble azo dye. The study, published in Applied Surface Science, demonstrated the effectiveness of this approach in a vortex fluidic device, highlighting its potential for broader use in wastewater treatment.

Dr. Anahita Motamedisade, a co-author of the study, emphasizes the limitations of traditional wastewater treatment methods in removing persistent contaminants. The new photocatalytic degradation processes offer a more sustainable and thorough solution, potentially addressing a global environmental issue.

This research not only presents a promising method for cleaning industrial wastewater but also contributes to the development of more sustainable and efficient treatment technologies.


2024, ‘Nano solution for removing toxic dyes’, Flinders University, viewed 9th April 2024, <>


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