In­dian sci­en­tists de­velop nano­ma­te­rial to treat waste­water

Chemical Industry Digest - - New Developments -

Ateam of re­searchers led by Dr. Ra­ma­vatar Meena at the Cen­tral

Salt and Marine Chem­i­cals Re­search In­sti­tute, Bhav­na­gar, In­dia, have cre­ated car­bon-based clean­ing process fully green by us­ing sea­weeds as start­ing ma­te­rial. They have syn­the­sised graphene-iron sul­fide nanocom­pos­ite from abun­dantly found sea­weed — Ulva fas­ci­ata – through di­rect py­rol­y­sis tech­nique.

Sea­weeds are known as car­bon sinks. In some ear­lier stud­ies, biomass of Ulva fas­ci­ata has been di­rectly em­ployed for ad­sorb­ing cop­per and zinc ions from wa­ter but the up­take ca­pac­i­ties were rel­a­tively low. This prob­lem was re­solved by de­riv­ing thin car­bon sheets from sea­weed at very high tem­per­a­ture. These graphene sheets were doped with iron. The nanocom­pos­ite ob­tained from sea­weed showed a very high ad­sorp­tion ca­pac­ity for var­i­ous cationic and an­ionic dyes as well as lead and chromium.

The nanocom­pos­ite can be used in up to eight clean­ing cy­cles, with only nom­i­nal loss of its ad­sorp­tion ca­pac­ity. Even mixed dyes could also be ad­sorbed. A max­i­mum ad­sorp­tion ca­pac­ity of 645 mg per gram for lead was achieved at neu­tral pH. This is the high­est ever re­ported for any biomass de­rived car­bon ma­te­rial, sci­en­tists have claimed in their study pub­lished in Jour­nal of Haz­ardous Ma­te­ri­als. It could also re­move highly toxic hex­ava­lent chromium from waste­water.

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