The Deep after Dark (part of British Science Festival)

A Blog Post by Samantha Richardson and Aimilia Meichanetzoglou, PhD students at the University of Hull (UK)

On Wednesday, 12 September 2018, we took part in the British Science festival event, ‘The Deep after Dark’. It was a great event showcasing some of the work we have done as part of the Sullied Sediments project to better understand and reduce our release of watch list chemicals in the water environment. We talked in-depth to over 120 people, explaining how we will use paper devices to look for pollution in river water and how we use a plant extract (sporopollenin) to remove some of these chemicals from the water.

Lots of people were particularly interested in how we will use sporopollenin (a bio-polymer found in plant pollen) to capture and remove watch list chemicals from river water. We explained the ways we extract this polymer, clarifying that the material is non-allergenic, and we showed microscope photos to give visitors an idea of how small the particles are. We demonstrated how the particles are suspended in water and the procedure of filtration to remove them and leave purified water behind. The audience were fascinated in the iron loaded particles since they were allowed to play with them using a magnet and see how easier their removal from water can be. To conclude the demonstration, we analysed the purified water with audience members using the paper devices and confirmed that the water was clean.

For more about the British Science Festival in Hull, please visit their blog:

https://www.britishscienceassociation.org/Blogs/bsa-blog

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