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The study explores the potential of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) and cellulose nanofibers (CNF) to remove positive metal ions from contaminated water. Several methods are available in the market for the removal of heavy metal pollutants from aqueous solutions or industrial effluents, such as chemical precipitation, electroplating, ion exchange, and membrane processes (1). However, these methods are inefficient or expensive when heavy metals are present in the water at low concentrations, therefore new environmentally friendly technologies are still in demand. The aim of this project is to study the adsorption and desorption of heavy metal ions by nanocellulose. We carried out different experiments in order to analyse the adsorption capacity of different metal ions such Ag+, Cu2+, Fe(III) and As (V). Arsenic was studied with Chitin CNC. Experiments showed that all nanopolysaccharides had adsorption capacity for metal ions, however phosphorylated CNC had the most outstanding capacity (144.5 mg Fe/g, 119.4 mg Ag/g and 114 mg Cu/g), which means almost 100 % of the metal ions were removed. The machineries used in the experiments were ICP-‐OES and EDS. ICP-‐OES was used to verify de adsorption of the heavy metal ions and EDS to study the possibility of desorption in order to recover the metals.
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