Water Remediation

Due to rapid industrialization and the advent of modern technology in developing countries, water pollution is becoming one of the major threats to the environment, human health and economy. Pollutants of major concern include heavy-metals (e.g. Cr, Cd, Al, Pb, Fe, Hg, and Cu), anions (sulphates, nitrates, fluorides, etc.), organics (such as dyes, phenolics and endocrine disruptors), and pathogenic micro-organisms (e.g. bacteria, cysts and viruses). The water stress situation in developing countries demands that wastewater from industry be treated such that reuse for potable water is possible. Consequently, water sources containing pollutants have to be treated. The widely used physico-chemical treatment options are: coagulation/precipitation, chlorination, ozonation, reverse osmosis, adsorption and dialysis. Among these treatment options, adsorptive catalytic process (degradation) is one of the most versatile techniques in water treatment due to low cost, diverse end-uses, socio-cultural acceptance, regulatory compliance, environmental benignity and simplicity. The use of nano-adsorbents is slowly proving its high potential in detoxifying contaminated water and wastewater. The objective of this proposal is to prepare low cost and environmentally-friendly nanostructured adsorbents for purification of water with particular focus on removal of inorganics, organics, and pathogenic microorganism (pathogens). Batch and column adsorption mode will be used for remediation.


Research Project Leader:

Programme Leader: Prof Arjun Maity

Contact: AMaity@csir.co.za