Water pollution is one of the biggest environmental issues of our times. To address such a huge challenge, the full involvement of everyone is required. In this context, we report the results of outreach hands-on activities aimed at presenting to the general public two classes of materials with high potential in the removal of common water pollutants, such as heavy metals and dyes: zeolites and chitosan-based aerogels. Under the guidance of young students of materials science and engineering, participants have performed safe, fast, and easy to understand experiments for the removal of copper ions and dye molecules from water. The discussion of the results, which was adapted time by time to the knowledge and age of the audience, provided all participants with a general understanding of the two phenomena underlying water purification, namely, ion exchange for zeolites and molecular adsorption for chitosan aerogels. Besides raising awareness of young people about water pollution and, more in general, about environmental issues, the proposed activity highlights the key role of materials scientists in providing smart and feasible solutions to tackle everyday problems.

Increasing Awareness of Materials and the Environment: Hands-On Outreach Activity Presenting Water Purification Materials and Concepts

Luzzi E.;Ambrogi V.;Filippone G.;Liguori B.;Salzano De Luna M.
;
Aprea P.
2021

Abstract

Water pollution is one of the biggest environmental issues of our times. To address such a huge challenge, the full involvement of everyone is required. In this context, we report the results of outreach hands-on activities aimed at presenting to the general public two classes of materials with high potential in the removal of common water pollutants, such as heavy metals and dyes: zeolites and chitosan-based aerogels. Under the guidance of young students of materials science and engineering, participants have performed safe, fast, and easy to understand experiments for the removal of copper ions and dye molecules from water. The discussion of the results, which was adapted time by time to the knowledge and age of the audience, provided all participants with a general understanding of the two phenomena underlying water purification, namely, ion exchange for zeolites and molecular adsorption for chitosan aerogels. Besides raising awareness of young people about water pollution and, more in general, about environmental issues, the proposed activity highlights the key role of materials scientists in providing smart and feasible solutions to tackle everyday problems.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/878106
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