10:00-10:30 Implementations of Nanotechnology in our current water treatment systems: How far are we?

Presenter: Ms Dineo Bopape

Ms Dineo Bopape

Miss Dineo Anna Bopape is a Master of Science in Chemistry graduate. She obtained the degree from UNISA Titled: Fractionation of Natural Organic Matter (NOM) in water using prepared porous silica materials as size exclusion (SEC)/Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) stationary phases. She has extensive experience in water technologies and nanotechnology environment as she did her Master of Science degree as one of the first graduates of the Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability (NanoWS) research unit, UNISA. She is also a science communicator in which she has been communicating science to the public, schools and universities. She then joined Nabio Consulting in 2018 as a Project Leader where she was given an opportunity to translate Science concept in IsiNdebele. This exposed her to give a radio interview with Ikwekwezi radio station titled: the benefits of nanotechnology in our drinking water. The topic was interesting enough that she decided to do an extensive study of Nanotechnology in water treatment as part of her PHD work. She obtained her BSc degree and Honours degree in chemistry at the University of Limpopo (Medunsa Campus) which is well-known as SefakoMakgatho health Sciences University.

Our Current water treatment technologies focus on removing different types of contaminants to a limited level of quality. The technologies are often not best suited for water problems in the developing world with existing nanomaterials. Nanotechnology is the manipulation of any material to a nanoscale (1‐100 nanometers) such that the material can exhibit faster chemical reactions and cover a large surface area. Nanotechnology has been implemented in energy, medicine, drugs, textile, cosmetics, etc. There is a potential need for the implementation of nanotechnology in our current water purification processes. Since various research has shown that nanotechnology may potentially provide a variety of options to “tailor–make” solutions to filter out contaminants in water. This stem from the limitations found in each existing technology for our current. Nanotechnology provides a platform for offering affordable and safe drinking water solutions. Unfortunately, our current water treatment plants do not support nanotechnology-based solutions in both drinking water and wastewater treatment, therefore, there is need to build suitable nanotechnology treatment plants. The Future intentions of nanotechnology in water treatment is to increase potable water supplies, desalination of sea water, provide safe industrial effluent, increase effectiveness of water treatment and Simplify water treatment.