Iranian researchers invent nanoabsorbent to remove heavy metals from wastewater

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TEHRAN, Iran, Jan. 21, 2010 -- Iranian researchers have synthesized a silica nanopore and modified its structure to absorb more heavy metals from industrial wastewaters.

Hamid Sepehrian and his colleagues managed to modify MCM-41 silica nanopore by thiol and amine functional groups and synthesized a new nanopore absorbent with high heavy cations absorption capacity.

"We first produced MCM-41 silica nanopore and then used (3-mercaptopropyl) trimetoxy silane and (3-aminopropyl) trietoxy silane to functionalize nanopore structure," Sepehrian said to the news service of INIC about the synthesis steps of the mentioned nanopore.

For this purpose, the researchers refluxed a definite amount of MCM-41 nanopore and the mentioned organic reactants in toluene. After a definite time, they filtered it, rinsed several times with ethanol and finally dried it.

"For measuring absorption level we stirred mixtures of absorbent and different ions and measured ion level in the mixture after a definite time," Sepehrian added.

The results show that zinc ion absorption on the synthesized absorbent has increased considerably compared to two previous absorbents which were functionalized just by one functional group.

All industries in which wastewaters containing heavy cations like chrome, mercury, zinc and zirconium exist can use this product.

The details of the present study are available at the Chinese Journal of Chemistry, volume 27, pages 2171 to 2174, 2009.

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