Michael Mudd, Tarleton State University

Experimental Use of Plant Based Polymers as Effective Removal Agents of Solid and Ionic Contaminants

Abstract: Standard methods for removing contaminants from water is by the use of Polyacrylamide.  Polyacrylamide is effective at removing contaminants but inversely is a sticky, carcinogen, and subsequently very harmful chemical to the environment. Plant derived organic polymers however removed contaminants by way of the jar test at an amount comparable to that of Polyacrylamide, as well as being environmentally sound. Plant derived polysaccharides include Psyllium, Fenugreek, and Okra which were extracted from each of their respective source’s psyllium husks, fenugreek seeds and okra fruit.

Methods for detecting these contaminants include Jar Test, vacuum filtration, and Ion Chromatograph.  Contaminants for phosphates, sulfates, chlorides, and nitrates were detected using ion chromatography by analyzing the retention times that the respective containments took to pass through the column, which there in separated the ions for detection.  Vacuum filtration was a pivotal part in separation of suspended solids (SS), total dissolved solids (TDS), and total solids (TS) in the jar test.

Accumulated data points to these organic polymers being an environmentally safe replacement for polyacrylamide and have been proven to remove TSS, TDS, nitrates, phosphates, sulfates, and chloride contaminants.  Current experiments yield promising results and further testing is necessary for more conclusive evidence to be set forth.

Presentation Author(s):
Michael Mudd*

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