Brightly colored dyes such as the shimmering Congo Red commonly used in silk clothing manufacture are notoriously difficult to dispose of in an environmentally benign way.
Congo Red is an azo dye, it is toxic to many organisms and is a suspected carcinogen and mutagen. To give it its full name it is the disodium salt of 3,3'-(1E,1'E)-biphenyl-4,4'-diylbis(diazene-2,1-diyl)bis(4-aminonaphthalene-1-sulfonate). It is a benzidine-based anionic disazo dye. Benzidine and Congo Red are, however, banned in many countries because of health concerns. But, it is still widely used in several countries.
Apparently it is used not only to dye silk a gorgeous red, but cleverly adds a second shimmering color and rending the red silk shot through with yellow. It also represents a significant effluent problem along with related dyes from textiles, printing and dyeing, paper, rubber, and plastic industries. Its structural stability makes it highly resistant to biodegradation, and obviously its bright color and toxicity are entirely undesirable in the environment.
Writing in the International Journal of Environment and Waste Management (2008, 2, 309-319), Srinivas Sistla and Suresh Chintalapati, from Hyderabad, India, explain a new approach to degrading Congo Red based on ultrasound.
The researchers point out that advanced oxidation processes (AOP) are currently being developed for remediation of contaminated effluent because they generate no hazardous sludge. Oxidative degradation is based on free radical attack using powerful oxidants. However, Sistla and Chintalapati suggest that sonolysis, break down of an organic compound with ultrasound, has so far been investigated only rarely as an alternative remediation technology. Under well-established 'extreme' conditions, materials irradiated with sound at frequencies around 50 kHz are essentially ripped apart by the formation of free radicals, say the researchers. Carbon dioxide and water are the usual products, although with the case of azo dyes, nitrogen would also feature in the byproducts.
Sonication of Congo Red in the aqueous phase with 50 kHz ultrasound transforms it into a milieu of less toxic intermediates that can then be broken down still further by conventional industrial waste water biodegradation treatment. As a proof of principle, the researchers suggest that the combination of ultrasound and biodegradation could allow the color to be removed from dye-contaminated industrial effluent effectively and the toxicity reduced to negligible levels. "The results obtained from this study revealed the ability of ultrasonic irradiation to transform the aromatic inhibitory compounds to less toxic intermediates, which can be further utilized in aerobic/anaerobic oxidation," the researchers conclude.
Srinivas Sistla | EurekAlert!
From the Arctic to the tropics: researchers present a unique database on Earth’s vegetation
20.11.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Fading stripes in Southeast Asia: First insight into the ecology of an elusive and threatened rabbit
20.11.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
19.11.2018 | Event News
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
20.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.11.2018 | Medical Engineering
20.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy