Traditionally activated carbon is the key aspect in water treatment processes. Using activated carbon is a good way for removing contaminents however it is less flexible and versatile in this aspect than the new way that is being tested. Researchers have been test the use of cyclodextrins in wastewater. cyclodextrins are a group of compounds made up of bound glucose molecules. They have several advantages to the previous method. Cyclodextrins are better at attracting organic compunds and is able to trap organic made contaminants in its cavity-like area. This area can be adjusted to capture smaller and larger compunds by adding different functional groups. Usually this new compound is soluble in water but researchers have made in insoluble and it can now be coated over things such as sand, filter paper and glass. The cyclodextrins have been able to remove 90% of steroid hormones, detergent, and bisphenol A (BPA) from various levels of contaminated water. Cyclodextrin has less surface area than activate carbon compunds but it has great potential especially when coated on porous high surface area materials. Another benefit of this new material is that it can be easily reused unlike activated carbon which has to be either thrown into a landfill or reactivated through a very inefficient and costly method.
I don't know much about the water treatment process but I do understand how important this new compound could be to making clean water cleaner and more accessible because this compound can be reused and not add to the huge landfills. It seems more efficient and everyone likes efficiency!
Examples of common cyclodextrins:
Temple University. "New adsorbent is more effective and environmentally friendly for treating wastewater." ScienceDaily, 24 Sep. 2013. Web. 28 Sep. 2013