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Biomass-derived Water Filters

Updated: Jan 13, 2019

Synthetic methods to transform biomass to high-capacity adsorbents that remove organic and inorganic pollutants from water

Nearly 50% of child mortality around the world is due to lack of access to clean water. Our research focuses in developing methods to treat contaminated water in low-resource areas to enable access to clean drinkable water anywhere in the world.

We are developing facile methods to convert plant materials such as leaves and stems into high-capacity water filters that remove biological, organic, and inorganic pollutants. One of our goals is to develop low-cost methods that enable the local production and manufacture of effective water filters, so that local mom-and-pop businesses can start up and utilize our patent-free technologies in order to establish local economies around sustainable, save-the-children-first communities.

To develop low-cost methods to convert plants to effective water filters and enable the start ups of mom-and-pop business that manufacture them and establish sustainable economies in save-the-children-first communities

We have successfully converted plant leaves, saw dust, peanut shells, pine cone, wasted coffee, and used tires to high-capacity water filters that remove heavy metals such as chromium (VI), lead(II), mercury (II), and copper(II) ions, as well as organic pollutants such as aqueous pharmaceuticals, bisphenol, and organic carcinogens from water.

Selected Publications

Md.Ahsan; Md Tariqul I.; Hernandez, C.; Castro, E.; Katla, S.K.; Kim, H.; Lin, Y.; Curry, M.L.; Gardea-Torresdey, J.; Noveron, J.C. Biomass conversion of saw dust to a functionalized graphitic carbon for the removal of Tetracycline, Sulfamethoxazole and Bisphenol A from water. Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 2018, 6, 4329 - 4338.


Md. Tariqul Islam, Ricardo Saenz-Arana, Cesar Hernandez, Thomas Guinto, Md Ariful Ahsan, Hoejin Kim, Yirong Lin, Bonifacio Alvarado-Tenorio, Juan C. Noveron. Adsorption of methylene blue and tetracycline onto biomass-based material prepared by sulfuric acid reflux. RSC Advances, 2018, 8, 32545 – 32557.


Md. Ahsan; Md Tariqul I.; Noveron, J.C. Green Synthesis of a Highly Efficient Biosorbent for Organic, Pharmaceutical, and Heavy Metal Pollutants Removal: Engineering Surface Chemistry of Polymeric Biomass of Spent Coffee Waste. Journal of Water Process Engineering, 2018, 25, 309 - 319.


Md.Ahsan; Krishna, K. S.; Md Tariqul I.; Hernandez, J.A.; Martinez L.; Diaz, C. Lopez, J., Singameneni, S.R.; Banuelos, J.; Gardea-Torresdey, J.; Noveron, J.C. Adsorptive removal of methylene blue, tetracycline and Cr(VI) from water using sulfonated tea waste. Environmental Technology & Innovation, 2018, 11, 23 – 40.


Md Tariqul Islam; Saenz -Arana R.; Hernandez, C.; Guinto T.; Ahsan Md A.; Bragg D.T.; Wang H.; Alvarado-Tenorio, B.; Noveron J.C. Conversion of scrap tire rubber into a high capacity adsorbent for the removal of organic pollutants from water. Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 2018, 6, 3070 - 3082.



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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

University of Texas at El Paso

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