New sorbent to extract and analyze toxins/carcinogens

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       Toxins and carcinogens in environment and food are major threats to human health. These toxins such as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons or PAHs are caused by incomplete combustion of organic substance including via car exhaust can be absorbed by human body and cause many types of cancer. For this reason, US Environmental Protection Agency has classified PAHs as hazardous substance and should not be found less than 0.2 microgram/litre level in water. It is thus essential to be able to test level of PAHs.

       Current popular technique to analyze PAHs is by using a commercial solid sorbent which is expensive and not reusable. Some have to be imported. The researcher has thus developed a magnetic absorbent composed of alginate, magnetite nanoparticles and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (Fe3O4) which is easy to prepare, convenient to use, reusable, and inexpensive.


     To develop new type of sorbent to extract and measure PAHs and carcinogens that provide fast result but is easy to use and inexpensive, reusable, and equally effective as the commercial alternative.


     The new sorbent that can extract PAHs in water, food, and beverages like tea or coffee offer the following benefits

  1. Can be produced domestically and is 50 times cheaper than the commercial option
  2. Easy to produce and does not require expensive equipment of materials
  3. Provides 92 - 98 % efficiency rate which is acceptable per standard
  4. Can be reused at least 10 times


Asst. Prof. Dr. Opas Bunkoed and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Proespichaya Kanatharana

Trace Analysis and Biosensor Research Center: TAB-RC

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University

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