Researchers eyeing metal removal from wastewater

Engineers and scientists at Brown University are using a combination of two established – but very different – techniques in an effort to efficiently remove heavy metals from industrial wastewater. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



LIFE SCIENCES

Researchers eyeing metal removal from wastewater

Posted 1/9/12

Engineers and scientists at Brown University are using a combination of two established – but very different – techniques in an effort to efficiently remove heavy metals from industrial wastewater.

The presence of metals in wastewater is a common problem for many industries, including the manufacturing of printed circuit boards, jewelry and electroplating. If not treated correctly, these metals can cause compliance problems with state and federal officials. Some standard treatment methods can be problematic, consuming inefficient amounts of power or generating sludge classified as a hazardous material, requiring further treatment or special disposal.

“The primary target is remediation of wastewater contaminated with a variety of heavy metals present at low concentrations,” said Joseph Calo, research professor at the School of Engineering. “The combination of complex metal mixtures and low concentrations makes this task particularly difficult.”

That is why Calo is developing a new method that collects trace amounts of heavy metals in water by increasing their concentration, so that a proven removal technique can be utilized. Called cyclic electrowinning precipitation (CEP), the method removes up to 99 percent of copper, cadmium and nickel, according to his research.

Once treated, the contaminated water will meet federally accepted standards. The system’s mechanics and results of wastewater-treatment studies have been published in the Chemical Engineering Journal.

Calo recently submitted paperwork to university officials, who have the right of first refusal, in the hopes that the school applies for a patent. Should the school decline he has the option to patent the system himself, as is the standard practice.

“What we’ve found is something that is very promising. It’s a complete system and it has commercial possibilities,” he said.

Next Page
No comments on this story | Add your comment
Please log in or register to add your comment
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Only a few seats remain for PBN's Manufacturing Awards Dinner and Ceremony, Thursday, April 24th, at the Bryant University Bello Center. Don't hesitate. Register today!
  • Business Women
    Accomplished. Confident. Wicked Smart. Nominate women you know who deserve speci ...
  • 40 Under Forty
    It's the 10th Anniversary of 40 Under Forty, and PBN is planning a special event ...
  • Healthiest Employers
    Enrollment now open for the 2014 Healthiest Employers Program. Please take a mom ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News