Coffee infused foam removes lead from contaminated water….
As one of the most popular drinks in North America, coffee makes for a perkier population and also a large amount of waste coffee grounds. Scientists now report an innovative way to reduce this waste and help address another environmental problem. Coffee grounds have been incorporated into a foam filter that can remove lead and mercury from water.
Millions of tons of used coffee grounds are produced annually by restaurants, the beverage industry, and people in their own homes. Much of the used grounds go to the landfill. Some of the grounds are used as fertilizer, a biodiesel source, and mixed into animal feed. Scientists are also looking to use the grounds for water remediation. It looks like powder made from spent grounds can rid water of heavy metal ions, which can cause health problems. An additional step is required to remove the powder from the purified water. The researchers are trying to simplify this process.
Spent coffee powder was fixed in a bioelastomeric foam, which acted as a filter. In still water the foam removed up to 99% of lead and mercury ions over a 30 hour period. In another test with flowing water up to 67% of the lead ions were scrubbed from the water.
Something to think about as you enjoy your next cuppa joe.