The Environmental prize 2017 goes to Wasser 3.0

The environmental prize of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate goes to Wasser 3.0 of the Organic and Ecological Chemistry Group of the University of Koblenz-Landau.

Prize Winner 2017: The Team of Wasser 3.0. Photo: Ministry of the Environment Rhineland-Palatinate

Wasser 3.0 is known as a new, innovative and, above all, future-oriented research and development project of the Working Group on Organic and Ecological Chemistry. Under the leadership of Jun.-Prof. Dr. Katrin Schuhen, many employees and cooperation partners such as abcr GmbH in Karlsruhe and Zahnen Technik GmbH from Arzfeld have been working together in recent years to research the improvement of global water quality, and in particular to develop effective, effective and sustainable solutions.

In 2017 the breakthrough for the holistic removal of organic-chemical stressors (including pesticides and pharmaceuticals as well as microplastics) and the environmental prize awarded by the state of Rhineland-Palatinate by environmental minister Ulrike Höfken took place in Mainz on 18.09.2017.

With modified inorganic-organic hybrid silica gels, the scientists have chosen a substance class that is capable of binding stressors such as pharmaceuticals and microplastics by appropriate adaptations in the organic molecule component.

The trick in the whole thing is, so shoes that the stressors of the material must be recognized (localization) and then bound in a chemical reaction (agglomerating). In the end, the researchers receive visually small microplastic spheres, table ball masses of particle particles. The dissolved organic-chemical compounds are separated from these particles, which are constantly growing and chemically fixed, so that in the end, by simply filtering, the undesired residues can be removed without any relevance for the ecosystem.

An alternative to activated carbon and ozonation

Wasser 3.0 presents an easy and efficient alternative to the existing semi-economic processes of activated carbon and ozonation in the fourth stage of cleaning, but it can also be used for groundwater remediation, industrial water and leachate and well water. The removal of high-grade stresses, for example by per- and polyfluorinated organic-chemical compounds, are now successfully investigated using hybrid silica gels.

This high variance in application is due to the fact that the hybrid silica gels are adapted and used according to the degree of contamination and the complexity of the load and are not worked according to the motto "much, helps a lot!".

Wasser 3.0 is not only efficient in its application but also includes consideration of recycling and recycling. The task of researchers is also to raise awareness among people about the prevention of pollution. All in all, water 3.0 is using the approach: research, development, education and communication as the first project to implement all four fields of action in equal parts and with high commitment, motivation and success.

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