Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials
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The utilization of biomass in the production of water treatment chemicals has gained interest over the past few decades.
Lignocellulose is an attractive raw material because of its wide availability, low cost, reactive chemical structure and
renewability. Chemical modification is required to enhance the anion binding properties of lignocellulose. We used Finnish
pine sawdust to produce an anion exchange resin through chemical modification with epichlorohydrin, ethylenediamine,
triethylamine and N,N-dimethylformamide, aiming to add cationic, quaternary, ammonium groups in the sawdust structure.
Elemental analyses revealed that the modification increased the sawdust?s nitrogen content from 0.8% to 9.4%. Sorption tests
using synthetic nitrate solutions were conducted. Nitrate was chosen because it causes severe health problems in drinking
water and contributes to eutrophication in water systems. The resin proved to work in a wide pH (3-10) and temperature
range (5-70?C), and the sorption of nitrate was very rapid. In column, the resin maintained its capacity for 5 ion exchange and
desorption cycles tested. A maximum sorption capacity of 30.1 mg/g was achieved for NO
--N. The effects of phosphate and
sulphate were also studied. Significant inhibition in nitrate reduction (initially 30 mg NO
--N/L) was observed at 50 mg P/L
and 100 mg S/L. The results imply that modified sawdust could compete with commercial anion exchange resins. The next step
of the study is to develop the modification method into being more environmentally sound and study nitrate removal from
industrial and mining wastewaters.
Anni Ker?nen received her Master?s degree in environmental engineering in 2012 from the University of Oulu, Finland. After graduation, she started her PhD studies
under the supervision of Prof. JuhaTanskanen and Dr. Tiina Leivisk? at the University of Oulu. Her research interests are water treatment, ion exchange, adsorption
and biomass-based water treatment chemicals.
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