464262 Process for Removing Heavy Metals and Disinfecting Wastewater Using Immobilized Biochar

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Edward Trujillo, Brock Erickson, D. Kelton Shelley and Austin Eiting, Chemical Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

An innovative process has been developed that removes heavy metals, particularly lead, from wastewater and disinfects the water at the same time using a combination of immobilized biochar and a bactericide in either polysulfone or alginate beads. The advantages of immobilization in a polymeric bead is that the adsorbents can be used as a fine powder, increasing the surface area/mass ratio, and by incorporating these powders into an open polymeric matrix the exposed biochar is more accessible to flow and, for packed bed operations, enables higher flow rates to be used with less pressure drop. While bactericides have obviously been used to treat drinking water, they have not been used in this particular configuration in conjunction with immobilized biochar. The technical significance of developing this new process is important because it could help make potable drinking water and remediation of waters contaminated with toxic metals less expensive. Preliminary batch and packed-bed experiments in our lab indicate that a generally spherical polymeric bead can be formed in large quantities that has improved properties over the non-immobilized biochar while maintaining a significant concentration of bactericide. Experimental data will be presented showing the effectiveness of the concept and plans for further development.

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