The unusable water and industrial waste water issues, affecting eastern Mediterranean countries and all demographic conditions, are increasing at an epidemic rate due to their negative effects on the environment and human health. These affect people from all socio-economic backgrounds leading to changes in quality and duration of life. In countries in the eastern Mediterranean like Saudi Arabia, the natural and waste water reuse has long been recognized as a major problem. Over 80% of Saudi Arabias water supply is withdrawn from non-renewable ground water aquifers that contain various toxic metal ions. Moreover, water demands have been worsened by rapid population growth, increased urbanization, more stringent health based regulations, and competing demands from a variety of users. In response to this alarming scenario, the eastern Mediterranean countries should work together and be committed to initiate, stimulate, and intensify research effort to reduce total ground water withdrawals and develop a new and low-cost water purification technology to address water inadequacy with an ultimate goal to resolve water scarcity. Therefore, the proposed research aim to develop a novel membrane and demonstrate its efficacy for the removal of heavy metals from industrial wastewater and the heavy metal contaminated groundwater in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A series of new specialty sulfonated diamine monomers containing oxygen, amine and sulfonate (having chelating properties) will be synthesized from inexpensive and commercially available diamine. Sulfonated polyimides containing sulfonated diamine monomers, 1,4,5,8-naphthalenetetracarboxylic dianhydride and readily available nonsulfonated diamines will be synthesized. The plethora of these copolymers containing sulfonated functionalities are anticipated to show better mechanical strength and chemical stability towards water. The effect of commercially available additives functional chitosan and different molecular weights of pore generating agents polyvinylpyrrolidone will be added to the sulfonated polyimides to study the physicochemical and mechanical properties of composite membranes and their efficiencies for the removal of metal ions from the aqueous solutions. The utilization of complexing agent, sodium alginate in the aqueous feed source will also be investigated for the effective removal of the metal ions by the composite membranes. The presence of sulfonate and amine motifs, and controlled pore in the membrane is anticipated to produce a novel, robust and unique membrane, which can be efficiently used for the removal of metal ions from aqueous solutions. The inexpensive novel product is likely to treat the heavy metal laden industrial and domestic wastewater at a lower cost, and thus assist in protecting the environment and human health.
|Effective start/end date
|1/09/17 → 31/08/19
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