Synthesis and Characterization of PVA/AAC Foam and their Application with Alum for Reduction of Turbidity, Calcium and Magnesium Ions, and Microbial Count in the Nile River

El-Toony, MM1*, El-Kelesh, NA1, Abdel-Shafy, HI2

1 National Center for Radiation Research and Technology, Atomic Energy Authority, Cairo, Egypt
2 Water Research, Technology and Pollution Control Department, National Research Center, Cairo, Egypt
* Correspondence: Tel:20101318501, Fax:+202 22 944 803;

Key Words: Hydrogels, Foam, Gamma radiation, Alum, Nile water, Treatment, Bacteria, Fungi, Turbidity

Received December 16, 2010. Accepted January 20, 2011. Published July 31, 2011. Available online July, 31 2011.

doi: 10.14294/WATER.2011.5



Radiation techniques have proven particularly suitable for producing hydrogels for use in treating wastewater. We have used different ratios of polyvinyl alcohol and acrylic acid to form hydrogels with different doses of gamma radiation. We foamed the hydrogel to increase the size and number of pores. We characterized the foam using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Foaming increased the water uptake level from 320 percent to 13.3 x 104 percent. We conducted this work with surface water samples from the Nile River (in Cairo). This water was tested before and after treatment using the jar test method. Some parameters were studied, such as contact time and different ratios of foam/alum. The results of our investigations included decreasing turbidity to 32.5 percent, calcium to 16.5 percent, and magnesium to 24.2 percent from the original concentrations. Further, we reduced the counts of bacteria and fungi colonies/ml (CFU/ml) to 88.9 percent and 99.4 percent, respectively, after one day of treatment, while both sets nearly disappeared after seven days.

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