What is it about?

A copolymer was synthesized from a biopolymer and used for the removal of heavy metals present in the groundwater of an abandoned mine. The results show that the adsorption capacity of these materials for the heavy metals studied was: Pb>Cd>Cr. It was also demonstrated that the most efficient configuration for their removal was the use of a fluidized adsorption column with respect to the fixed bed column configuration.

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Why is it important?

The application of chitosan-polyvinyl alcohol composite polymers in actual mine groundwater effluents has not been reported. In this study we analyze how the presence of competing ions affects the adsorption capacity of heavy metal ions. Furthermore, which mathematical model best fits the dynamic removal behavior using an adsorption column.


The adsorbent material that was synthesized has a suitable performance for the removal of heavy metal ions present in a complex effluent from an abandoned mine. This study represents the fundamentals for the scale-up of the process and its application on-site.

Javier Guzmán-Pantoja
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo

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This page is a summary of: Treatment of a mining water effluent for the sorption of heavy metal ions using polymer composite beads in a continuous column, Water and Environment Journal, April 2021, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/wej.12710.
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