(578d) Continuous Micro-Extraction of Copper Ions from Wastewater Using Ionic Liquids
Copper is considered as a valuable and commonly used heavy metal in many industrial applications. Compared to other heavy metals it exists at higher concentrations in wastewater that makes water treatment before disposal necessary1. Recent researches investigated different methods and techniques for the removal of copper ions from industrial wastewater, such as adsorption by zeolites and modified biopolymers2-3, nanofiltration4, and cementation5. Extraction of copper ions using ionic liquids has drawn attention in the recent years due to the affinity of hydrophobic ionic liquids to absorb heavy metals from aqueous media6. Ionic liquids (ILs) are salts with relatively low melting point and low vapor pressure7, non-flammable, and can be designed and synthesized to perform desired tasks. The key drawback in using ILs is their high costs; hence, an efficient extraction process that utilizes minimum amount of ionic liquid and thus minimizes the costs is required. On the hand, the main advantage of using a micro-extractor is the significant enhancement in mass and energy transfer; for a droplet smaller than 1 mm, its specific surface area is greater than 1000m2/m3, which is significantly larger than the interfacial area in conventional extraction8. Micro-extractors also require a considerably less amount of solvent than conventional extraction due to its confined size and large contact area. In this work, we present a study that investigate the extraction efficacy of the removal of copper ions from wastewater in a micro-extractor using hydrophobic ILs. The extraction efficacy will be presented as a function of IL structure, extraction time, and the interfacial area between the IL and the wastewater streams.
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