Researchers use pomegranate to clean water of drug residues

Published 18 March 2024
- By Editorial Staff
The researchers stress that the material is still in "an early stage of development".

Ellagic acid extracted from pomegranate can purify water from drug residues, according to researchers at Stockholm University. Porous crystals from the extract can trap and break down drug molecules.

To remove contaminants from water, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), a nanoporous material made of metal ions and organic molecules with the ability to absorb like sponges, are often used.

Now, researchers at the department of materials and environmental chemistry at Stockholm University have developed a new form of metal-organic framework using naturally occurring ellagic acid.

– Ellagic acid is one of the main components of naturally occurring polyphenols called tannins, which are found in fruits, berries, nuts and bark. “By mixing ellagic acid extracted from pomegranate peel or tree bark with zirconium ions, we have created a new porous MOF called SU-102, said researcher Erik Svensson Grape in a press release.

The researchers tested the new material using water that was first purified at a local wastewater treatment plant to see if the material could further purify the water. The results showed that the material cleaned the water of a large number of pharmaceutical residues that pass directly through the treatment plant. It could also be used to break down the contaminants using light in a process called photodegradation.

– So far, the material is still new and in the early stages of development, but we hope that SU-102 will be used for water purification in the future, he says.

TNT is truly independent!

We don’t have a billionaire owner, and our unique reader-funded model keeps us free from political or corporate influence. This means we can fearlessly report the facts and shine a light on the misdeeds of those in power.

Consider a donation to keep our independent journalism running…