Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad have found that fly ash – waste byproduct of power plants that poses a threat to the environment – can be modified into a waterproofing material.
The researchers have converted fly ash into a water proofing material by treating it with stearic acid which is commonly used in soaps and shampoos.
In the case of fly ash-based waterproofing material, the activity varied according to the type of fly ash used.
It was found that when fly ash with varying sizes and shapes was used, it produced super hydrophobic material that behaved like a lotus leaf. Water did not roll away immediately.
In contrast, when fly ash was segregated into particles with almost similar shape and size, it behaved like a rose petal. The material pinned down water molecules. It neither absorbed the water nor let it fall down even when the material was turned upside down.
While the fly ash is merely a waste, stearic acid is also not an expensive chemical. The synthesis process is so simple that even an untrained individual can prepare these super hydrophobic materials with ease.
This is a “India Science Wire” story; edited by Clean Future Team