Use of nanofibers from maize (Zea Mays) for the adsorption of mercury present in the aqueous medium

Y.A. Acuña Sastoque, E. González
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana,

Keywords: mercury, nanofibers, corn, filter, removal


The contamination of water resources by heavy metals, specifically by mercury is considered a global problem due to the impact of these pollutants environment and living being [1][2]. Annually, of 7'150,000 tons of chemical substances that are released into the environment, at least 6000 correspond to mercury [3]. Currently, strategies for efficient and selective removal of mercury from water, are being incorporated into remediation programs, making use of the capabilities offered by bio and nanotechnology[4]. One of the most promising options is the development of filters that use nanomaterials to capture and retain the heavy metal[5]. One of the main limitations for the scaling and incorporation of nanostructured filters for water treatment contaminated by mercury is the use of nanomaterials that require chemical precursors and processes with environmental impact[6]. In this work, we presented the development of filters made with natural materials, specifically nanofibers derived from maize, which show high efficiency and selective retention of mercury ions. The structural and morphological study, as well as the physicochemical properties of the nanofibers were obtained from the characterization by electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, X-rays and spectrophotometry. The use of plants as reported in this work, show considerable benefits in the production of filters that meet the ideal of sustainable solutions to address the problem of water pollution.