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New Nanogels Detect, Remove Heavy Metals from Water

News Date : 2016-07-04 Visit : 647

Iranian scientists designed a system to detect and remove tiny amounts of heavy metal ions in water

TEHRAN (INIC)- Iranian researchers designed a system to detect and remove tiny amounts of heavy metal ions in water.


Heavy metal ions, including copper, cadmium and lead have harmful effects on the society's health. The precise detection of ions requires application of very complicated analytical processes. Analytical methods have some limitations such as low selectivity and sensitivity. Solid phase extraction method has significant advantages over other analytical methods. A sorbent is used to extract and measure ions in this research.


Tiny amounts of heavy metals can be measured in biological samples in a short time through application of a cheap device by using the nanogel synthesized in this research. This method is more sensitive and selective in comparison with other similar methods.


In this research, iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles and acidity-sensitive poly (4-vinylpyridine) (nanogel) have been used at the same time as the sorbent of heavy metal ions. The nanogel has a very good performance for the removal of heavy metals due to the easy separation of magnetic nanoparticles from the media and the high performance of pH-sensitive nanogel in the optimized acidity.


This method has a detection limit of 0.03, 0.2, 0.6 and 0.9 µg/L for cadmium, copper, nickel and lead respectively. These numbers show the power of the presented method for the analysis of heavy metals by using flame atomic absorption device.

Results of the research have been published in Microchimica Acta, vol. 183, issue 1, 2016, pp. 111-121.