Nanotechnology Applied to Remove Heavy Metallic Ions from Water

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Iranian researchers used nanotechnology to produce super bio-magnetic sorbent for the removal of pollutions dissolved in water.

The nanocomposite sorbent has very high sorption capacity and can be separated from the sorption environment to be reused easily with the help of a magnetic field.

Contamination of surface and underground waters has been one of the most important concerns in the recent years. Ions of heavy metals, including lead, cadmium, cobalt, nickel, copper and chrome are among clear samples of water contaminations, which are growing every day as the industry develops and the population increases. The ions are not biodegradable and they easily enter the food cycle and damage the body of living creatures. Therefore, they create irreversible and serious damages to the environment, humans and other creatures.

The researchers have proposed the application of a nanocomposite super sorbent made of a biological polymer containing thiacalixarene to settle this problem. Thiacalyxarene is a compound that has high reactivity with heavy cations due to the presence of pores and hydroxy funcational groups. The nanocomposite can be produced at a reasonable price with high efficiency. Based on the test results, the sorption capacity of the nanocomposite is much higher than that of similar products.

The results have confirmed very good sorption of metallic ions from water due to the use of the nanocomposite. In addition, the sorbent can be separated from the sorption environment very easily by imposing a magnetic field.

Results of the research have been published in Iranian Polymer Journal, vol. 23, issue 12, 2014, pp. 933-945.

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