Metal separation from multi metallic solutions by sorption on and desorption from grape stalks

Busschaert, Pieter
During the last years, problems related to soil and freshwater contaminations have often stood in the center of interest. Accumulated pollutants in the soil can end up in the water by dissolving in it. Heavy metals are part of the group of chemical elements that have strongly increased in the environment by human activities such as the mine and metallurgy industries. One of the highest concentrations of heavy metals in wastewaters can be found in Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). This are the outflows of abandoned metal mines which are flooded when they are taken out of service. In order to prevent health problems and environment disasters, those metals must be removed from the water. Different techniques to eliminate those metals are used such as complexation, ion exchange and sorption, but it is still a very difficult and expensive process. Previous studies have shown that sorption processes with grape stalks can be a cheap alternative for sorption processes with activated carbon. During the sorption process, metals react differently. This difference in metal sorption can be used for selective separation of metals in binary mixtures. The objective of this work will be working on a method to separate those metals using grape stalks and bring them in a useable solution. The separation of binary metal mixtures of lead and cadmium and copper and nickel will be studied by using flow up columns filled with grape stalks for the sorption and desorption processes. Desorption will be studied by using different reagents at different concentrations in order to obtain a solution with only one metal ​
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