Title: Remediation technology of aquatic environments polluted with anionic forms of elements with the use of functionalized kaolinite sorbents
Principal Investigator: Jakub Matusik
Key Investigator: Tomasz Bajda
Funding agency: The National Centre for Research and Development (Poland)
Project ID: Tango 2
The results of completed basic research, which is the basis for the implementation of the proposed project, was to develop methods of chemical modification of kaolinite minerals from Polish deposits which allow a significant improvement of their sorption properties i.e. their ability to remove mobile anions. The conducted research showed that the removal method of anionic forms works very well in laboratory conditions. However, the possibility of using kaolinite minerals as mineral sorbents for commercial applications requires to carry out series of tests on a half- and full-technological scale.
Therefore, the project objectives are: (i) preparation of the concept of economic use of removing anionic forms of pollutants by using natural and modified kaolinite minerals, (ii) the estimation of the demand for technology which is the subject of the project and identification of partners interested in the implementation of the research results as well as (iii) within the development and industrial research part, the main objective will be to check the technology of using kaolinite-based sorbents in a pilot scale in terms of the possibility of its use in contaminated sites.
A detailed physico-chemical characterization of the tested environments will be performed including in particular the identification of the elements and their concentrations. The results will provide the answer which type of sorbent must be used. Afterwards the development and testing of the concept of adsorption columns for the water purification will be carried out in the laboratory. This will enable to set the sequence of adsorption columns and checking additional modules e.g. for pH stabilization. In the last stage pilot installations will be constructed on the base of laboratory experiments. Each of them will be located directly at the contaminated site and will be monitored for 6 months. The tests will provide information on installation efficiency by analyzing the chemical composition of water before and after flowing through the adsorption columns.
The results will help to answer the following questions: (i) which modification method most effectively influences the sorption efficiency of elements from contaminated environments, (ii) which environmental factors affect the sorption efficiency, (iii) which methodological and technical solutions should be applied and (iv) what is the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the applied purification technology. The proposed technological concept of using kaolinite-based mineral sorbents is not universal and thus it can be dedicated only to the specified recipient, primarily: chemical, paper and metal industries as well as oil refineries. The whole project will also indicate what are the limitations of the proposed technology, what is the advantage as compared to other methods, and what is most important what are the chances of practical implementation of the technology and its commercial distribution.