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Need help with a project involving heavy metals

  • Thread starter altegron
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  • #1
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Edit: Just realized that maybe I should have posted this in a different forum... sorry about that.

Basically my project is to present a method of removing Fe, Mn, Ca or Mg from water and then do an experiment on a sample of water with the heavy metal in it.

I've been doing a lot of searching online so far, and most of what I have found does not relate. I need something that I can actually perform myself, preferably something that I can make on my own. (I could possibly compare different types of products, but there is a $15 spending limit imposed by my teacher.)

I saw a thread and it looked like removing Iron would be something I could do in an experiment.

I just don't know where to start on that idea though. Would I need to acquire some type of Iron, and then get some chlorine? Just let them react in water and filter it? What would I use as a filter? We have filter paper in our classroom but I don't think that'd do it.

Please tell me if this would be a feasible option for this presentation/experiment...

P.S. Here is the thread I saw: physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=201728
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
symbolipoint
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Search for information and resources about Ion Exchange Resins. That $15 limit will not work.
 
  • #3
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Does it have to be just one? Or can you remove them all?

Because for $15, distillation is in your price range.

If it has to be just one, here's a page on how they remove iron from well water ...
but again, seems like just boil and condense the water'll do the trick.

lenntech.com/iron-removal-physical-chemical-way.htm

Iron is one of the most abundant metals of the Earth's crust. It occurs naturally in water in soluble form as the ferrous iron (bivalent iron in dissolved form Fe2+ or Fe(OH)+) or complexed form like the ferric iron (trivalent iron: Fe3+ or precipitated as Fe(OH)3). The occurrence of iron in water can also have an industrial origin ; mining, iron and steel industry, metals corrosion, etc.
In general, iron does not present a danger to human health or the environment, but it brings unpleasantness of an aesthetic and organoleptic nature. Indeed, iron gives a rust color to the water, which can stain linen, sanitary facilities or even food industry products. Iron also gives a metallic taste to water, making it unpleasant for consumption. It can also be at the origin of corrosion in drains sewers, due to the development of microorganisms, the ferrobacteries.
In aerated water, the redox potential of the water is such as it allows an oxidation of the ferrous iron in ferric iron which precipitates then in iron hydroxide, Fe(OH)3, thus allowing a natural removal of dissolved iron.

However ground waters are naturally anaerobic: so iron remains in solution and therefore it is important to remove it for a water use.

The elimination of the ferrous iron, by physical-chemical way, is obtained by raising the water redox potential by oxidation thanks to oxygen of the air and this by simple ventilation. In the case of acid water, the treatment could be supplemented by a correction of the pH. Thus, the ferrous iron is oxidized in ferric iron, which precipitates in iron hydroxide, Fe(OH)3. The precipitate is then separated from water by filtration on sand or decantation. The stage of precipitation by chemical oxidation can also be carried out with the stronger oxidants such as the chlorine dioxide (ClO2), ozone (O3) or the potassium permanganate (KMnO4).
This elimination can be carried out by cascade or spraying open-air systems (for an acceptable maximum content of Fe2+ of 7mg.L-1) known as gravitating systems. Those systems require a significant place on the ground, but, in addition to an easy and a cheap exploitation cost, they also make possible aggressive CO2 and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) removal. There are also pressure systems, which in addition to their compactness, make possible to treat water whose Fe2+ concentrations between 7 and 10mg.L-1.

Iron removal system schema

Iron is often found in water in complexed forms. In order to be eliminated, iron complexed requests a coagulation stage, which comes in between oxidation and filtration.

Remark : Thanks to microorganisms, it is possible to remove iron from water by biological way. Indeed, there are many bacteria, whose metabolism and thus their survival, are related to the oxidation of iron. However this biological removal requires conditions specific for the pH, the temperature, the redox potential, etc
 
  • #4
chemisttree
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Some kitty litters (unscented) contain zeolites. Don't use clumping litters. Oil sorbents also contain zeolites. You can get those at some auto parts stores. You might try to activate some with brine, rinse and then pass your sample solution through a bed of the stuff.... slowly! Think tall, thin columns... Demonstration of low cost ion exchange.
 
  • #5
symbolipoint
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Mr. V, Chemistree, you guys are aware of practical things. Great.
 

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