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Role of Gymnemic Acid-Chitosan Nanoparticles in Mercury Removal from Water

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Mercury is one of the most toxic, bio accumulative heavy metal which adversely affects all living organisms, therefore requires an efficient method to separate out mercury from water. The Bureau of Indian Standards has laid down safety limits for drinking water at 0.01 mg of mercury per litre but the content is higher than 12 mg/litre in the actual situation. The Present study explored the advantage of nanosized biopolymers along with the mercury adsorbing potential of a plant saponin, Gymnemic acid, to significantly lower the mercury content in drinking water. The water from most thickly populated region of Kerala, India was analysed. Gymnemic acid-Chitosan nanoparticles were developed by ionic gelation method. FT-IR analysis was conducted to observe the interaction between different components. The loading percentage of Gymnemic acid and release profile studies of nanoparticles was conducted. Role of these nanoparticles for lowering mercury was done by standardising the concentration of nanoparticles and time required for reaction in water. Spherical particles with 86.3 ± 2.0% of maximum loading of Gymnemic acid were obtained. The maximum removal of mercury using these particles was 91.55 ± 0.29%. The use of nanoparticles has reduced the mercury content and the effort for separating these particles from water was easy. This is an eco-friendly method and has immense applications in water purification techniques.
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Keywords: CHITOSAN NANOPARTICLES; GYMNEMIC ACID; HEAVY METAL POLLUTION; MERCURY REMOVAL; MERCURY TOXICITY; WASTE WATER TREATMENT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2015

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  • Journal of Chitin and Chitosan Science (JCC) is an international peer-reviewed journal that covers all aspects of chitin and chitosan based biomaterials and their derivatives, their sources, commercial production, processing, spectroscopic characterization, biochemistry, biology, enzymology, ecology, chemical and physico-chemical properties, biological activities, medical and biomedical applications such as drug delivery systems, gene delivery, pharmaceuticals, tissue engineering, wound healing agents, antimicrobial activities, biotextiles, biocatalysis, food science, agriculture, water purification, environment, and other areas of life sciences and materials science.
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