These enhanced micron-sized titanium dioxide particles can trap and destroy BPA, a contaminant in water with health implications. The robust particles can be re-energized for reuse in water treatment.
BPA is frequently used to coat the insides of food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines, and was once a constituent of baby bottles. While BPA that seeps into food and drink is considered safe in low doses, continued exposure is suspected of disturbing the health of children and causative to high blood pressure.
The work fits into technologies developed by Rice University-based and National Science Foundation-supported Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment as the spheres self-assemble from titanium dioxide nano-sheets. Most of the procedures reported in the works involve nano-particles. The Rice particles are much larger. Whereas, a 100 nano-meter particle is 1,000 times smaller than a human hair, the enriched titanium dioxide is around 3 and 5 microns, merely 20 times smaller than the same hair.