Wastewater Treatment Using Ionic Liquids

Principal Investigator
Enas Nashef
Chemical Engineering
Focus Area
Water & Environment
Wastewater Treatment Using  Ionic Liquids

The United Arab Emirates is one of the extremely highly stressed countries that draws heavily upon groundwater and desalinated sea water, and faces exceptional water-related challenges for the foreseeable future. In recent years, the pollutants that are refractory to treat by conventional biological, physical, and chemical methods, together with the stricter restrictions imposed by new legislation have caused many researchers to look for alternative treatment processes. In addition, there is uncertainty regarding the formation of toxic byproducts following conventional chemical oxidation. Halogenated hydrocarbons (HHCs), which are priority chemicals, have been used extensively in a number of industrial processes. However, it was discovered that many of these HHCs are carcinogens and have serious negative impact on the eco system.

We hereby propose the use of hydrophobic ionic liquids (ILs) for the extraction of different types of halogenated hydrocarbons from industrial wastewater. Parameters that might affect the extraction will be investigated, e.g., temperature, chemical structure of IL, solvent/water ratio, etc. Experiments conducted at our labs showed excellent preliminary results for the extraction of HHCs from water using ILs. COnductor-like Screening Model for Realistic Solvents (COSMO-RS) will be used for predicting the solubility of HHCs ILs.

This work is of paramount importance to Abu Dhabi, and specifically to the UAE in general. It is well known that the UAE natural water resources are limited. Any improvement in the treatment of waste water technology will affect all aspects of life in the UAE and the Arabian Gulf.

Wastewater Treatment Using  Ionic Liquids