- Pinoy scientists invented a filter made of abaca fiber and polymers that can be used to remove heavy metals dissolved in water
- Abaca is reusable and cheaper versus commercial resins used to filter out waste
- This invention is a Regional Winner for the Outstanding Utility Model Award during the 2019 DOST Regional Invention Contests and Exhibits (RICE)
Abaca, also known as Manila hemp, is a leaf fiber widely used for its excellent mechanical strength and resistance to saltwater damage. This makes it an excellent material for the newly invented amphibious navigator by Pinoy scientists.
But that is not all. It seems that the future of this leaf fiber is auspicious with the recent discovery of Pinoy chemists from the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI). They discovered that abaca fabric could filter out toxic materials and other contaminants in wastewater.
DOST revealed this non-woven fabric made from the natural fiber of abaca, and synthetic polymers can remove heavy metals like lead, cadmium, nickel, chromium, mercury, and arsenic dispersed in liquid. These substances are dan
gerous to our health because the accumulation of it in our body can deteriorate organ function.
According to DOST, “The materials are grafted using radiation at PNRI’s Electron Beam Irradiation Facility, after which it is further processed into its final form as a synthesized filter for heavy metals.”
Radiation grafting can alter the properties of polymers without changing the composition of the material. Furthermore, it can be used to graft various polymers with advanced properties needed to filter pollutants from water.
Abaca fabric is reusable, cheaper and comparable with other counterparts. This gives more advantages versus commercial resins also used as filter.
Joan Tugo of DOST-PNRI mentioned that this can be used to remove chromium in tanning industry wastewaters, lead in lead-acid battery recycling facilities and other industries dealing with heavy metals that might leak into bodies of water.
This invention is the Regional Winner for the Outstanding Utility Model Award during the 2019 DOST Regional Invention Contests and Exhibits (RICE) in the National Capital Region held in November.