SEOUL, May 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korean scientists developed a cheap catalyst that can treat industrial sewage water nine times more effectively than existing systems, the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) said Tuesday.
The KIST team led by researcher Kim Jong-sik created a nickel sulfide catalyst using electrochemical reactions that has been tested to stably neutralize pollutants dissolved in water, according to the state-run institute.
"Various pollutants like dyes and chemicals that mix easily with water come from factories. These must be treated thoroughly before they can be released into the environment, but existing systems using iron as a base material are not effective and can only be used once," KIST pointed out.
The researchers checked other materials and discovered that nickel sulfide has excellent properties in dealing with polluted water.
"Nickel itself is common and cheap, and since the new catalyst can be used several times, this treatment system is significantly more economical to employ," the institute said.
It said that due to such advantages, the nickel catalyst should find commercial application relative quickly.
The latest development, meanwhile, has been published in the international Applied Catalysis B: Environmental scientific journal.
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