Metal recovery from secondary and low-grade primary sources using green solvents

Theme: Environmental Pollution

Primary Supervisor:

Abdul Chaudhary

Institute for the Environment, BRUNEL

Project Description:

Industrial solid wastes containing various heavy metals are known to enter the aquatic environment where they can have adverse effects on animals and plants, including humans.

The recovery and recycling of metals from waste sources is therefore an area of great interest, as increasing public awareness together with the implementation of recent legislations have created a situation where industries must:

1) comply with the environmental regulations and

2) fulfil Producer Responsibility Initiatives.

The main aim of this project is to prepare and characterise different types of ionic liquids (ILs) and evaluate their performances as green solvents for the selective extraction of metals from mixed waste samples. The specific objectives are:

1) to synthesis ILs using a solvent-free microwave assisted method,

2) to characterise these ionic liquids using different analytical techniques and

3) to investigate the solubility of heavy metals, rare earth metals, and metal oxides in these ILs.

Policy Impact of Research:

To recover individual metal from mixed metal solutions generally requires a purification method which involves the use of organic solvents that can lead to environmental damage by producing secondary pollutants.

The use of ILs as selective solvents can eliminate the use of these organic solvents.


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