Home PlanetYucaEnvironment Yucatecan scientists are developing a method to cleanse the Yucatán aquifer

Yucatecan scientists are developing a method to cleanse the Yucatán aquifer

by Sofia Navarro
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A group of researchers from the Yucatan Center for Scientific Research (CICY), led by Dr. Ángel de Jesús Montes Luna from the Materials Unit, is working to create new materials capable of removing and degrading various water pollutants, which are often difficult to treat.

What is the focus of your project?

We aim to address one of the significant challenges in water treatment: the removal of salts, dyes, organic matter, and other contaminants like pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and residual antibiotics, which are harder to clean to obtain clean water.

How will you achieve this?

Through materials ranging from micrometric to nanometric scale, porous elements that would be used in the development of composite membranes with the potential application in removing these water contaminants.

Where are you working on this project?

These materials have been produced in the CICY laboratories and are referred to as MOFs, standing for Metal Organic Frameworks, which are organometallic particles composed of a metallic center like copper, zinc, or zirconium (metallic element) and organic ligands.

What is their role in water purification?

MOFs possess photocatalytic properties that enable the elimination of challenging pollutants. They work through the degradation of residual antibiotics and pesticides, which are waste products from livestock and agriculture activities respectively.

What would be their social impact?

This proposal aims to enhance the properties of existing plastics or membranes and that this technology is very timely for addressing issues such as water contamination in the region.

Is Yucatán’s water prone to contamination?

Due to the characteristics of the karstic soil, the Yucatán Peninsula’s aquifer is highly susceptible to contamination. Thus, this technology could serve as an alternative for treating discharge water and reducing aquifer pollution.

TYT Newsroom

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