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Active tracing

Technology

Pulled a muscle playing sport? Pain-relieving ointment can help – but taking a shower flushes traces into the sewage system and, possibly, the drinking water.

Purification plants use activated carbon in powder form, which sequesters trace substances and household chemicals from the wastewater.

The powder is then disposed of by combustion at remote locations. Now, researchers want to improve sustainability further.

Activated carbon pellets made from renewably sourced charcoal powder are mixed with graphite, giving three times the electrical conductivity.

Exposing the pellets to high electrical heat means trace substances are released and incinerated, and the pellets can be used again.

Employing a “drive-thru” method only for pellets that are “full” minimizes their abrasive wear.

A good way to provide clarification.

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