Our collaborative research on water treatment has been reported in the Indian press in April 2018. The 21st century has been dubbed the “century of water” because of the coming water crisis due to the global population increase and environmental destruction. The textile and leather industries are major sources of river and groundwater pollution in Tamil Nadu, India. Researchers at Saveetha School of Engineering and the University of Manchester teamed up to tackle the problem of water pollution. Manchester is the birthplace of the thinnest and strongest material, graphene, which led to a Nobel Prize.
A team led by Dr Deepak Arun and Dr Amirthaganesan from Saveetha School of Engineering in collaboration with Dr Gyorgy Szekely from the University of Manchester joined forces to design new graphene‑based materials for water treatment. In simple terms, they exploit the unique properties of graphene combined with bio‑derived polymers to adsorb pollutants from water. The materials are tested in the University of Manchester using polluted water from various areas in Tamil Nadu. The research provides insights into the remarkable opportunities enabled by advanced separation materials. The research shows that graphene can filter toxic heavy metals and dyes from water to make it safe to drink. This opens up new possibilities for improving the health and environment of local communities.
As the part of this collaboration final year students from Saveetha School of Engineering are visiting the University of Manchester to carry out final year research projects under this collaboration. Dr Deepak Arun, Associate Dean, International Affairs from Saveetha School of Engineering visited the University of Manchester in January 2018 to strengthen our international collaboration and to advance the ongoing research project with Dr Szekely.