Hazardous water pollution caused by pure or chemically refined hydrocarbons – e.g., crude oil, nano- and microplastics, or herbicides – can be removed by rust. Nanoscience combined with chemical recognition motifs on surfaces enables an efficient and sustainable technique.
Water is essential for all life on earth – yet the supply of clean water in sufficient quantities is at risk. While our need for clean water is certified as a human right, recognised as such through UN Resolution 64/292 in 2010, almost all water pollution is human-made.
A crucial class of contaminants relate to the excessive use of hydrocarbons including fossil fuels and all oil-based chemical refined products, which differ in their chemical structure, their molecular weight, and their properties. The global water contamination is not primarily driven by spectacular disasters – like the still remembered Deep Water Horizon accident in 2010 – but by daily production, improper handling, and regular consumption of hydrocarbon-based products in huge quantities.
Besides fossil fuels, plastic products are becoming increasingly precarious. Due to the poor recycling rate (38 % in Germany, 9 % in the
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