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.

Key words

, , , , , ,

The further text is accessible on a paid subscription.
For authorisation enter the login/password.
Or subscribe


  1. Hwang J., Yang H.-M., Lee K.-W., et al. A remotely steerable Janus micromotor adsorbent for the active remediation of Cs-contaminated water. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 2019, v. 369, pp. 416–422.
  2. Srivastava S. K., Guix M., Schmidt O. Wastewater mediated activation of micromotors for efficient water cleaning. Nano Letter, 2016, 16 (1), pp. 817–821.
  3. Ying Y., Pumera M. Micro/Nanomotors for water purification. Chemistry. A European Journal, 2019, v. 25, pp. 106–121.
  4. Wang H., Potroz M. G., Jackman J. A., et al. Bioinspired spiky micromotors based on Sporopollenin exine capsules. Advanced Functional Materials, 2017, v. 27, no. 32.
  5. Kagan D., Calvo-Marzal P., Balasubramanian S., et al. Chemical sensing based on catalytic nanomotors motion-based detection of trace silver. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2009, v. 131, pp. 12082–12083.
  6. Moo J. G. S., Wang H., Zhao G. J., Pumera M. Biomimetic artificial inorganic enzyme-free self-propelled microfish robots for selective detection of Pb2+. Chemistry. A European Journal, 2014, v. 20, pp. 4292–4296.
  7. Rojas D., Jurado-Sanchez B., Escarpa A. «Shoot and sense» Janus micromotors-based strategy for the simultaneous degradation and detection of persistent organic pollutants in food and biological samples. Analytical Chemistry, 2016, v. 88, pp. 4153–4160.
  8. Campuzano S., Orozco J., Kagan D., et al. Bacterial isolation by lectin-modified microengines. Nano Letters, 2012, v. 12, pp. 396–401.
  9. Vilela D., Parmar J., Zeng Y. F., et al. Graphene-based microbots for toxic metal removal and recovery from water. Nano Letters, 2016, v. 16, pp. 2860–2866.
  10. Parmar J., Villa K., Vilela D., Sanchez S. Platinum-free cobalt ferrite-based micromotors for antibiotic removal. Applied Materials Today, 2017, v. 9, pp. 605–611.
  11. Soler L., Magdanz V., Fomin V. M., Sanchez S., et al. Self-propelled micromotors for cleaning polluted water. ACS Nano. 2013, v. 7, pp. 9611–9620.
  12. Mushtaq F., Asani A., Hoop M., et al. Highly efficient TiO2-PtPd tubular nanomachines for photocatalytic water purification with multiple locomotion strategies. Advanced Functional Materials, 2016, v. 26, pp. 6995–7002.
  13. Zhao G. J., Seah T. H., Pumera M. External-energy-independent polymer capsule motors and their cooperative behaviors. Chemistry. A European Journal, 2011, v. 17, pp. 12020–12026.
  14. Guix M., Orozco J., Garcia M. Superhydrophobic alkanethiol-coated microsubmarines for effective removal of oil. ACS Nano, 2012, v. 6, pp. 4445–4451.
  15. Gao W., Feng X. M., Pei A., et al. Seawater-driven magnesium based Janus micromotors for environmental remediation. Nanoscale, 2013, v. 5, pp. 4696–4700.
  16. Kiristi M., Singh V. V., de Avila B. E. F., et al. Lysozime-based antibacterial nanomotors. ACS Nano, 2015, v. 9, pp. 9252–9259.

Banner Oct 2024

myproject msk ru

Баннер конференции г. Пятигорск

souz ingenerov 02

Aquatherm 200x200 gif ru foreign

ata 200x100ru