Fe-TAML(R) activators developed at Carnegie Mellon decolorize textile mill wastewater

NEW YORK Powerful, environmentally friendly catalysts called Fe-TAML activators, developed by scientists at Carnegie Mellon University, significantly decolorize dyes found in wastewater released from textile mills and are highly promising for clearing this polluted water.

The results of extensive field trials of this decolorization will be reported by a team of Carnegie Mellon investigators on Wednesday, Sept. 10, in New York City at the 226th annual meeting of the American Chemical Society (paper 174, "Application of a peroxide-based AOP for removal of dyes from textile dyeing mill wastewaters," Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Division).

"Our field tests show that Fe-TAML activators with hydrogen peroxide are highly promising for clearing water polluted with textile mill dyes" said Colin Horwitz, a research associate professor at Carnegie Mellon who is presenting the results. As part of his talk, Horwitz also will present results of laboratory experiments showing that the Fe-TAML activators are useful in decolorizing a wide range of industrial dyes.

Each year, approximately 53 billion gallons of wastewater released by textile manufacturing mills need to be treated to remove color.

Fe-TAMLs (TAML stands for tetra-amido macrocyclic ligand), which are synthetic catalysts made with elements found in nature, offer a potent, safe and cost-effective means of rapidly purifying dye-laden effluent. Current technologies to remove dyes are costly, and large volumes of water are needed to clear the dye from wastewater treatment areas.

In their field tests, Horwitz and fellow investigators used minuscule amount of one Fe-TAML activator (10-6 M concentration) and small amount of hydrogen peroxide (10-3 M concentration) to treat spent dye bath solutions found immediately after the dyeing operation and to treat dyes remaining in a biological treatment pond.

Using Fe-TAML activators, textile mills could increase the amount o

Contact: Lauren Ward
Carnegie Mellon University

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