Scientists have created a plant-based method to remove microplastics from drinking water.
The “bioCap” purifying filter, developed by researchers from the University of British Columbia in Canada and Sichuan University in China, is made from natural substances found in fruit and wood. It has the ability to remove nearly all microplastics from water.
The researchers developed a water filtration device by covering sawdust with fruit tannins—natural plant compounds that make your mouth pucker if you bite into an unripe fruit— which can remove 95.2 to 99.9 percent of microplastics, depending on their composition.
In order to test the effectiveness of the bioCap system, a team of researchers from forestry, chemistry, and biological engineering gave groups of mice either purified water treated with the bioCap or untreated water. The results showed that the purified water prevented the build-up of microplastics in the mice’s organs.
Even when operating at its lowest efficiency, the bioCap device was able to remove most of the microplastic materials. By taking advantage of the different molecular interactions around tannic acids, the bioCap solution was able to remove virtually all of different plastic types from clothing, microbeads from cleansers and soaps, and foams and pellets from utensils, containers, and packaging.
The bioCap is a great solution for both industrial and home use because it is made of organic materials and does not contribute to pollution like plastic filters do. It is a simple yet effective solution that should be considered by those in power.
Reference- Interesting Engineering, Science, Journal Advanced Materials, University of British Columbia PR