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Iranian researchers from Sharif University of Technology used nanotechnology to produce highly efficient adsorbents to remove heavy metals from industrial wastewater.
This invention is a big step towards the application of various nanomaterials in water purification process.
The size of particles in the produced nanoadsorbent is 20 nm, which is completely suitable for the removal of nickel, cobalt and barium ions from water. Small amount of the nanoadsorbent can be used in the process of removing the heavy metals since its efficiency is high. Therefore, it results in decreasing the operational costs. The researchers also presented a correlation that expresses the kinetics of the reaction by taking into consideration various parameters effective on the sorption efficiency.
According to the researchers, zeolite is one of the most promising materials among various inorganic adsorbents to carry out metal purification process. Low cost is the advantage of zeolite in comparison with various types of resins. The adsorbent was produced by depositing platinum nanoparticles on a bed of Zeolite A4.
Surface sorption was used in the removal of metallic ions by using the nanoadsorbent. The process is cheaper than other separation processes such as fractional distillation or extraction. On the other hand and contrary to some of separation methods, including solvent extraction, surface sorption in fixed beds is a direct separation method that does not need any supplementary process.
Results of the research showed that the amount of sorption increases as the amount of adsorbent increases. In other words, contact area between the particles and the adsorbent increases and more ions have the opportunity to deposit on the surface of the adsorbent. Increase in the temperature boosts sorption yield too. The efficiency of the nanoadsorbent is higher in acidic media.
Results of the research have been published in Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering, vol. 12, issue 1, January 2014, pp. 1-7.
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