ION EX Project - New materials for treating anionic contaminants


14 Mars 2017

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Physics Chemistry


Chemicals, Materials & Plant-based Materials

Synthesis and implementation of new materials for treating anionic contaminants. These absorbents are highly effective for fixing mineral anions, molecular entities such as certain pesticides, colorants, and active substances, or radionuclides.

Numerous types of materials, both synthetic and natural, exist for absorbing cations (resins, active carbon, zeolite, mesoporous substances, clay, etc.) in fields such as wastewater depollution and water treatment. However, solutions for absorbing anions are far less developed. Nonetheless, given the diversity of potentially dangerous polluting elements and species (colorants, chrome, arsenic, active and metabolic substances in medical drugs, etc.), it is essential to be able to access effective and optimally developed anion exchangers.

Our project focuses on developing innovative materials considered as new anion exchangers. The uniqueness of our approach lies in the chemical nature of the materials we use to absorb anions. We use “hybrid silicate-ion” type materials, that is, solutions that are constituted exclusively of ionic components, incorporated into a silicate mesh. The benefits offered by this approach make it particularly interesting for many applications.

Exchange capacity: this new material offers very high exchange capacity – 8 times more than materials based on functionalized silica, and over twice the capacity that can be obtained with ion-exchanging resins commercialized by market leaders.

- Interface properties: thanks to their composition, these materials offer a very high hydrophile level, which is uncommon for this type of material. This property is essential for ensuring good wettability of the material in aqueous environments, thus making it entirely accessible in order to achieve rapid exchange kinetics.

- Implementation: The possibility to implement the material in forms while preserving its exchange properties is a clear benefit for being able to adapt to various treatment processes.

Ion-exchange resins, water and wastewater treatment (industrial, pharmaceutical, nuclear), separation, chromatography.

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