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An inexpensive adsorbant for removing silver from wastewater

By Chemical Engineering |

The release of silver from industrial wastewater has caused serious environmental problems. Many methods have been developed to remove silver ions from industrial wastewater, including chemical precipitation, ion exchange, electrolysis, replacement, membrane and reverse osmosis. Several adsorbents have been used to remove and recover silver from aqueous solutions or industrial wastewater. However, those adsorbents are expensive, and lately many low-cost materials have been tried, including waste wool, peanut shells, crab shells, soybean hulls and cotton. Now, a group from Gangneung-Wonju National University (Gangneung, South Korea; www.gwnu.ac.kr) led by professor Choong Jeon, has used recycled waste coffee grounds to remove silver from industrial wastewater directly as a zero-cost adsorbent. From the Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectra analysis, the group found that the waste coffee grounds — which have a porous and homogeneous structure and are composed mainly of carbon (61.60%) and oxygen (38.40%) — have functional groups like COO– and OH–, which play an important role in Ag+ adsorption. The existence of Ag+ on the adsorbent was confirmed by scanning electron microscope (SEM) images and energy-dispersive x-ray (EDX)…
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