Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research (ISSN : 0975-7384)

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Original Articles: 2015 Vol: 7 Issue: 1

Removal efficacy of biosorbents and low cost adsorbents for toxic metal ions: Chemical free purification of water


Toxic metals like mercury, chromium, cadmium, cobalt and nickel must be completely absent in drinking water because in spite of their miniature existence, they seem to be have high potential for causing terrible health effects e.g., mercury affects nervous system, chromium causes gastric erosion, cadmium is carcinogenic and mainly affects kidney. Arsenic is potent carcinogenic and mainly affects gastro-intestine and skin. In the present study, number of treatment methods had been adopted for the safe removal of heavy metal ions from aqueous solutions and water samples from industrial effluents. These had shown that the aquatic plants are efficient water filters and effective in removing metals from polluted water. The adsorption of toxic metals took place by low cost adsorbents such as activated carbon, walnut shell, waste tea, sawdust, zeolite, Bentonite, china clay and Peat moss. Chemical free removal of toxic metal ions from dilute aqueous solutions by biosorbents and low cost adsorbents has been demonstrated to be a useful alternative to conventional treatment systems. Adsorption is a physical process where soluble molecules (adsorbates) are removed by attachment to the surface of a solid substrate (adsorbent) primarily by Van der Waals forces, although chemical or electrical attraction may also be important. Adsorbents must have a very high specific surface area.