Over 200 million people in more than 70 countries, including some in Canada, are drinking water with a high concentration of arsenic. This global risk to human health can cause cancer, nausea, and blood vessel damage.
Khaled Zoroufchi Benis, a Vanier Scholar and Ph.D. candidate with the College of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), and colleagues are developing an affordable method to remove arsenic from water. They are turning agricultural waste, such as wheat and canola straw, into a filter that adsorbs the toxin.
The team, which includes Benis’ supervisors, Prof. Jafar Soltan and Prof. Kerry McPhedran, is using the Canadian Light Source at USask to make their water purifying process more efficient. The BXDS, HXMA, and BioXAS-Spectroscopy beamlines utilize synchrotron light millions of times brighter than the sun to reveal detailed information about their filter.
The team’s invention could help put agricultural residues to good use. Currently, Canada annually produces about 47 million tonnes of these residues.
Canadian Light Source