Italian start-up company, Innovacarbon is developing the use of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for water filtration which can reduce pollutants such as hydrocarbons, oils and textile dyes.

Innovacarbon’s solution is an adsorbent filter which makes use of carbon nanotubes, which have shown good adsorption properties with substances such as dyes and hydrocarbons to improve water purification.  The product consists of a cylindrical column filled with CNTs supported on inert material. The CNTs then break down dyes from the textile industry and hydrocarbons from industrial liquid streams, such as wastewater from some of the processes within the chemical industry.

Nanotechnologies are not yet being used extensively in waste water treatment but materials based on nanotubes perform much better than traditional methods in terms of reducing pollutants from wastewater. The Innovacarbon adsorbent filter doesn’t have the expensive maintenance costs of membrane treatments or those using activated carbon. In addition, the adsorbent material in the filter can be regenerated and reused multiple times.

The filter is currently at the protype stage and the Innovacarbon team hope it will be in industrial use later this year.