AHMEDABAD: Treatment of effluent released by industries is a huge task for an industrial state like Gujarat where a number of rivulets have virtually got converted into open sewage according to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) observation. The heavy metals not only affect the water quality but also health of a large population living nearby.
To fight this water pollution, a team of researchers from IIT-Gandhinagar (IIT-Gn) have used the discarded lithium-ion battery — also a source of pollution and e-waste. In two related researches — conducted by Prof Manish Kumar, department of earth sciences, along with Ritusmita Goswami and Santanu Mukherjee from IIT-Gn and Jaehong Shim, Byung-Taek Oha from South Korea-based Chonbuk National University, Patrick J Shea from US-based University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Payal Mazumder from IIT-Guwahati — found two different applications of the beads.
“We obtain manganese dioxide from lithium-ion batteries and used it to make beads — reactive composite alginate beads — with calcium alginate. The beads were used in lab setting where they were used with polluted water kept in a beaker with the beads. The experiments demonstrated that after 12 hours, the beads managed to remove up to 6.5mg of arsenic and cadmium from the solution. The metals got attached with the beads due to chemical interaction,” said Prof Kumar. “Likewise, in another experiment, the beads managed to remove up to 99.9% of the p-cresol and tylosin, substances found in waste water from animal farms,” he said.
The beads can be reused up to five times, said researchers, making it viable for use in real settings. ‘With low-cost manufacturing and beneficial utilization of hazardous waste such as spent batteries, the newly developed composite beads show potential as an effective adsorbent for treating waste water effluent,’ mentioned the paper published in Journal of Hazardous Materials.