2021 | Italy | Water issue adressed: Too dirty

⁣SAP2 (Sustainability Analysis of Purification with SAPonite)

The goal of our project was to develop an experimental solution to environmental pollution and to analyze the sustainability of the process.

We used a synthetic clay named Na-SAP-20, a mineral which possesses ion exchange properties which allow it to recover heavy metals and other pollutants from bodies of water.

The method we developed was tested on Co2+, a material recognized as ‘critical’ due to its uses in a  range of industrial, sustainable and technological applications, and on Cr3+ which is a common polluting agent found in freshwater.

The material absorption capacities have been analyzed by spectrophotometry UV-VIS, ICP-MS and NMR-relaxometry; we compared the results obtained with these analytical techniques focusing on the advantages and disadvantages of each one.

This is how I came up with the idea for this project:

The presence of heavy metals in freshwater is a really dangerous form of pollution, unfortunately, currently used purification methods require a complicated synthesis and rather high costs. We wanted to develop an accessible method in order to recover and recycle dangerous metals in a sustainable way.

Ania Andersch
Programme manager
+46 8 121 360 59


Fondazione Cariplo
Fondazione Salvetti
Ocmi Group
British institutes Seregno
Cielo stellato Silvio Lutteri
Museo nazionale della scienza e della tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci