KBSU scientists will create a unique polymer for water purification

Release date: 17.05.2022

Information portal «Polpred» (polpred.com) recently published an interview with acting rector of Kabardino-Balkarian State University for Research, Professor Svetlana Khashirova on the development of a fundamentally new polymer, carried out under a grant from the Russian Science Foundation.

According to the scientist, the new material will become the basis for highly permeable membranes capable of filtering water and removing bacteria and viruses from it. The project is planned to be implemented in the next three years together with the staff of the Institute of Petrochemical Synthesis. Seven million rubles will be spent annually on testing. Scientists have long been talking about the fact that high-quality drinking water is becoming more and more scarce every year. Incomplete treatment of industrial and domestic waste water (in some cases, its complete absence), as well as the ingress of animal waste into water bodies, lead to pollution of natural sources and, as a result, to the risk of outbreaks of infectious diseases. Information about mass poisoning after drinking water from the tap often gets into the news tops.

At the end of March, the department of Rospotrebnadzor for Dagestan completed an investigation into the causes of the mass poisoning of residents of Kaspiysk. The outbreak of intestinal infection was caused by contaminated drinking water that fell into disrepair, including due to inefficient flushing and disinfection of water supply networks and facilities after repairs were completed, and also due to the fact that the water did not undergo secondary chlorination. More than 300 people have recently turned to hospitals in Dagestan. After considering the case, the court fined 100 thousand rubles and. about. the head of the Buynaksk water utility after the mass poisoning of the city’s residents. He was accused of failing to properly and timely maintain the water supply facilities under his supervision.

Last spring, a resonant case occurred in the village of Maryina Kolodtsy in the Stavropol Territory: the number of poisoned people exceeded 180, the authorities introduced a high alert regime in the village. Membrane filtration is now becoming one of the most popular water purification technologies. According to experts, the world market for membranes is five to six billion dollars a year, and the vast majority of them are polymeric. A group of scientists from Kabardino-Balkaria decided to work with modified polyphenylene sulfone (PPSF) with an optimized chemical structure, little studied in Russia. At the output, it must not only meet all the requirements that apply to membrane polymers, but also surpass existing samples. Thus, Kabardino-Balkarian products will become import-substituting.