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Water pollution is a major global problem. It requires a continuous evaluation and revision of water resource policy at all levels, as well as a constant search for more efficient remediation technologies that can be easily and cheaply implemented in both developed and emerging regions. It has been suggested that water pollution may be the leading cause of death and diseases worldwide, accounting for the death of nearly 2 million people every year globally. The problem is made very complex by the extremely wide range of pollutants to be tackled, going from heavy metals to organic dyes, to perfluorinated chemicals, to pharmaceutical ingredients and biological contaminants. In addition, it is essential to ensure that the remediation technology itself is not contributing to water or environmental pollution, by releasing during use potentially toxic and/or non-biodegradable components that cannot be easily recovered, or by having a negative carbon footprint due to its raw materials or manufacturing process.The project aims to develop a new technology platform for pollutant removal from both industrial effluents and natural water, based on highly innovative, fully bioderived and biodegradable hydrogels with a broad spectrum of affinity towards very different classes of water contaminants. These hydrogels can be manufactured using standard chemical equipment under mild conditions, which makes them suitable for a global exploitation based on local production near relevant contaminated sites.
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