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Removal of pathogenic bacteria from synthetic contaminated water using packed bed silver nanoparticle-coated substrates


In this study, a packed bed was used to remove pathogenic bacteria from synthetic contaminated water. Two types of packing material substrates, sand and zeolite, were used. These substrates were coated with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), which were prepared by decomposition of Ag ions from AgNO3 solution. The prepared coated packings were characterized using scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The packed column consisted of a PVC cylinder of 2 cm diameter and 20 cm in length. The column was packed with silver nanoparticle-coated substrates (sand or zeolite) at a depth of 10 cm. Four types of bacteria were studied: Escherichia coli, Shigella dysenteriae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Vibrio cholera. The parameters studied were feed inlet flow rate (1.5, 2, 3 and 4 L/h) and AgNO3 concentration (0.02, 0.04, 0.07 and 0.1 mM), which were used to coat the packing substrates. The best results for removal efficiency of bacteria were obtained at the feed flow rate of 1.5 L/h with AgNO3 concentration 0.1 mM. Likewise, the percent of bacterial removal from contaminated water was found to be 99% for V. cholera, 93.7% for E. coli, 85% for S. dysenteriae and 77.5% for P. aeruginosa.

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The author would like to thank the head of the Biotechnology Department/Genetic Engineering Institute/Baghdad University for his assistance in doing the necessary laboratory measurements concerning this study. The author expresses his gratitude to the head of the Nanotechnology Center/University of Technology for his continuous motivation and support through this research.

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Correspondence to Sami D. Salman.

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Rashid, I.M., Salman, S.D. & Mohammed, A.K. Removal of pathogenic bacteria from synthetic contaminated water using packed bed silver nanoparticle-coated substrates. Energ. Ecol. Environ. 6, 462–468 (2021).

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  • Bacterial removal
  • Silver nanoparticles
  • Water disinfection wastewater
  • Treatment