Functionalized Magnetic Nanoparticles for Environmental Remediation

Functionalized Magnetic Nanoparticles for Environmental Remediation

Ravindra Kumar Gautam (University of Allahabad, India), Shivani Soni (Alabama State University, USA) and Mahesh Chandra Chattopadhyaya (University of Allahabad, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6363-3.ch024
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Water pollution by anthropogenic activities is proving to be of critical concern as the heavy metals affect aquatic organisms and can quickly disperse to large distances. This poses a risk to both human health and the aquatic biota. Hence, there is a need to treat the wastewater containing toxic metals before they are discharged into the water bodies. During recent years, magnetic nanoparticles came to the foreground of scientific interest as a potential adsorbent of novel wastewater treatment processes. Magnetic nanoparticles have received much attention due to their unique properties, such as extremely small size, high surface-area-to-volume ratio, surface modifiability, multi functionality, excellent magnetic properties, low-cost synthesis, and great biocompatibility. The multi-functional magnetic nanoparticles have been successfully applied for the reduction of toxic metal ions up to ppb level in waste-treated water. This chapter highlights the potential application of magnetic nanoparticles for the removal of heavy metals.
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Sources Of Heavy Metals In The Environment

Various industries generate heavy metal containing wastewater includes the tanning, battery, glassware, ceramics, electroplating, fertilizer, mining, paints, and photographic industries. These wastewaters contain heavy metals such as chromium, lead, cadmium, arsenic, copper, iron, manganese, nickel, mercury, and cobalt, among others. The amount and the number of metals present in any wastewater are related directly to the operations carried out in an industry. For example, tanneries discharge chromium in wastewater; copper, chromium, zinc, and cadmium are widely generated from metal plating; the production of electrical equipment and mining, smelting, and fossil fuel combustion contribute to mercury pollution; and lead is generated from a number of industrial and mining sources. Most of the wastewaters contain higher concentration level of heavy metal than the safe permissible limit that might result in lethal and costly repercussions in public health. Table 1 summarizes the anthropogenic sources of heavy metals in the environment.

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