DOI 10.35776/MNP.2019.10.09
UDC 628.3:62-278

Kofman V. Ya.

Micromotors – a recent trend in developing water and wastewater treatment technologies (a review)


Micromotors are autonomous, performing certain functions, self-propelled microdevices based on inorganic, organic or biological materials. Implemented in a micromotor design are two functions: autonomous movement and effective capture and/or destruction of various chemicals, including pollutants. To ensure autonomous movement the micromotor device provides for the creation of local thermal, acoustic, chemical gradients arising from asymmetric morphology or surface structure. The movement is provided through the use of various energy sources including light, electric and magnetic fields, ultrasonic waves or chemical “fuel”. The chaotic trajectory of micromotors throughout the solution provides for the highly efficient interaction of the chemicals immobilized on their surface with the targeted pollutants or detectable substances. The most elaborated principle of creating autonomous movement is the generation of a recoil impulse at asymmetric formation of gas microbubbles as a result of a chemical reaction. Currently, the main studies on the use of micromotors in water purification processes are carried out in the areas of analysis of aqueous media, removal of heavy metals, organic pollutants, dyes and oil products, as well as water disinfection. It is estimated that micromotors possess unique capabilities in the field of detection and removal of pollutants in aqueous media due to a combination of adsorption and catalytic properties with autonomous movement.

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