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Synthesis and characterization of composite sand/grapheme applied in water purification

Grant number: 18/08162-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2018
Effective date (End): September 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal researcher:Alexandre Mesquita
Grantee:Felipe Bonganhi Juliato
Home Institution: Instituto de Geociências e Ciências Exatas (IGCE). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil


The use of treated domestic wastewater has become a necessity and is generally accepted globally as an important water resource due to the global shortage of water supply. The most commonly used material in water purification is activated carbon derived from vegetable sources. It has been shown that chemically synthesized graphene as well as graphene oxide can be anchored on the surface of river sand to make effective adsorbents that remove heavy metal ions, pesticides and natural dyes. These materials have higher adsorption capacity compared to activated carbon when comparing equal masses of carbon. Graphene has proven to be a very promising material because of its remarkable features, being the focus of unlimited research and believed to be capable of revolutionizing the domestic wastewater treatment process. Thus, this research project presents a proposal for the study (preparation and characterization) of sand/graphene composites applied in water purification. Our ultimate goal is to obtain the graphene or graphene oxide composite material from citric acid attached to the common building sand without the need for binders in order to act as an adsorbent for contaminants. It is intended to directly study the efficiency of this composite in the purification of pigments. Water and rhodamine 6G solutions will be used to determine the adsorption efficiency of the composite. Measurementsof absorption spectroscopy of solutions after the addition of composites and filtration will be performed to analyze the adsorption capacity. The techniques of X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and photoluminescence will be used in order to analyze the morphology and structure of sand/graphene composites.