Cleaning Toxic Effluents By Using Clay & Tea Waste Based Membrane

Scientists at CSIR- North East Institute of Science and Technology, Jorhat, have developed a ceramic membrane with the help of a mixture of potter’s clay, stone dust and tea waste.

They have tested the membrane on effluents from a textile unit and found that it could remove absorptive dyes from wastewater.

Ceramic filters and membranes are commonly used in several sectors like food and beverage, drug and chemicals, waste recovery and recycling industries.

Ceramic membranes can withstand frequent cleaning, harsh operating environments and situations that require continuous flows of material.

The newly developed membrane has good thermal and chemical stabilities. It is capable of discolouring two commonly used dyes — methylene blue and Congo red — from water.

Methylene blue is a toxic dye, while Congo red is a known cancer-causing agent.

The used membrane could also be regenerated by heating at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, without much loss of efficiency.

Potter’s clay from Dhekial region of Golaghat district in Assam formed the base material providing plasticity, stone dust was used as a reinforcement material and tea waste provided porosity to the membrane.

The aim was to use waste materials from neighborhood so as to reduce costs and at the same time ensure an efficient output.

This is a ‘India Science Wire’ story; edited by Clean-Future Team