USask research shows flax byproduct can treat contaminated wastewater

Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan have used the Canadian Light Source to study a common agriculture byproduct to treat wastewater contaminated by antibiotics and other pharmaceutical chemicals.

The study found flax shives that have been treated with heat and steam adsorb the medication carbamazepine from wastewater.

Flax shives are the material left after fibre is extracted from flax stems.

Researcher Catherine Niu says there are many agricultural byproducts generated that are not effectively used.

She hopes by creating absorbents that are inexpensive and easily accessible, they can attract the attention of businesses looking for more efficient ways to treat wastewater.

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