The gel works on dyes in 15 minutes and metals in 6 hours
Researchers from the Indian Association for Cultivation of Sciences (IACS) have created a new hydrogrel that effectively removes toxic organic dyes and metal ions from wastewater.
They found that the commonly used dyes malachite green, congo red, brilliant blue and rhodomine B all had begun to be absorbed within 15 minutes of exposure to the gel. In terms of metal ions, the scientists found that the industrial effluents cobalt and nickel were mostly removed from the water in six hours using the gel.
Such a discovery marks a positive step forward for water treatment, as the new method has high water permeability, large surface area for adsorption and ease of use.
Prof. Arindam Banerjee, senior professor at the Department of Biological Chemistry for IACS, claims the hydrogel can be reused after being washed in bicarbonate and ethyl acetate.
“As the dyes and metal ions are soluble in water they get washed out from the gel and the hydrogel can be used for up to four cycles,” said Nandi. “It can be used by industries for effective treatment before wastewater disposal.”
In production, the gel can be scaled to match the volume of water that it will be treating, depending on the industry.