Chapter 10

Mesoporous Materials as Potential Absorbents for Water Purification

Ephraim Vunain and Reinout Meijboom*

Department of Chemistry, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

*Corresponding author: rmeijboom@uj.ac.za

Abstract

Mesoporous materials were reported first in the early 1990s. These materials contain well-defined pore sizes, which make them ideally suitable for tailor-made absorbants. Here we biefly describe the synthesis of mesoporous materials.

Keywords: Mesoporous materials, SBA-15, MCM-41

10.1 Introduction

Environmental pollution is a growing problem that needs to be controlled. A range of toxic and noxious organic and inorganic chemicals pollute the environment through discharge, where they cause serious air, soil and water contamination. Heavy metals, in particular, exert a deleterious effect on the flora and fauna of lakes and streams and must therefore be removed from wastewater. Heavy metals find their way into the wastewater originating from chemical manufacturing, painting and coating, mining, extractive metallurgy, nuclear and other industries. Once in the environment, these metals can be considered persistent, bioaccumulative and hazardous. Indeed the increasing level of toxic metals in the environment represents a serious threat to human health, and the detection of heavy metal ions in water samples has received considerable attention in recent years.

Materials science has always been an important research area. In the last couple of ...

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