Clay-Polymer Sorbents for the Removal of Organic Micro-Pollutants from Water

Mishael Yael, HUJI, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, Soil and Water Sciences


Granulated active carbon is the most common sorbent used for water filtration. However, it is not a pollutant-specific sorbent, which can result in poor removal of some pollutants, especially in the presence of naturally-occurring organic matter. Furthermore, with the rising concern of pharmacologically-active compounds in water sources, there is an urgency to improve the removal of these emerging micropollutants. 

Our Innovation

This project discloses a novel clay-polymer sorbent that successfully demonstrated the superior removal of various groups of micropollutants, including herbicides, pharmaceuticals, industrial compounds and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, even in the presence of naturally-occurring organic matter.

The expertise of the research group relates to modifying clay surfaces to optimize the affinity for micropollutants. It is expected that this approach will result in the rapid uptake of micropollutants at rates much greater than activated carbon. Under certain conditions, the clay-polymer column can be regenerated at a cost much less than transporting and incinerating spent active carbon. It addition, the form factor is not limited to columnar   


  • Broad Applicability: Relevant for various categories of micropollutants
  • Low-cost: The clay-polymer composite is low-cost and widely available
  • Non-fouling: Not susceptible to fouling by natural-occurring organic matter


Relevant for removing water pollutants from in- and outflows


Fig 1. Representative filtration-regeneration-filtration activity by polymer-clay sorbent for an organo-phostphate pesticide




Contact for more information:

Ilya Pittel
Contact ME: