Applications of Nanoclay in Tackling Pollution to be Tested in Iran

Published Date : Dec 22, 2015

Nanoclays, the nanometer-scale thick particles of layered mineral silicates, are extensively used in industries such as paints & coatings, automotive, aerospace, packaging, marine, and flame retardants. Several classes of nanoclays, such as hectorite, bentonite, montmorillonite, halloysite, illite, kaolinite, vermiculite, and smectite are extensively used across a number of application areas depending on the composition and morphology of these clays.

The demand for a variety of nanoclays has continuously increased in the past few years. Nanoclay-based reinforced polymers are gaining an increased level of adoption in the automotive industry owing to their benefit in reducing the overall weight of vehicles. The demand for nanoclays is also continuously rising in a number of other industries. Companies are increasingly investing in research and development activities aimed at exploring the vast potentials of nanoclays in agricultural, medical, and other novel industrial applications.

To the expanding set of new applications of nanoclays, its use in the pollution control industry needs special mention. As nanoclays are made of particles with vast amounts of empty space in their molecular structure, they are capable of absorbing and maintaining small amounts of moisture. This feature of nanoclays makes them stop dust and haze particles in deserts from becoming airborne. Tests have proven that nanoclay particles are also extremely stable and more effective than other pollution control methods.

Iran has planned to utilize nanoclays to tackle air pollution, especially for controlling haze and dust particles, according to Majid Abbaspour, an Iranian university professor. Majid Abbaspour has said that nearly 150 tons of nanoclay in an effort to stop the formation of haze over more than 3,000 hectares in Isfahan province.

He said that numerous research activities have been carried out across a number of universities for studying the effect of nanoclays in this specific application. Also, the pilot phase of the project is expected to shortly start in the Islamic Azad University. If the pilot study yields positive results, the method will be applied in real scenarios for controlling haze across numerous regions of the country.