Environmentally Friendly Pollutant Remediation, Dye Decolorization

PROBLEM: Organic pollutants and dyes from textile and paper plants in industrial waste streams need remediation.

SOLUTION: Using the chemically enhanced Fenton system, dyes can be remediated quickly in an environmentally safe manner.

HOW IT WORKS: The traditional Fenton reaction produces hydroxyl radicals that can be used to activate or break-down dye, lignin, or pollutant molecules by oxidation.  However, the radicals produced have a short life, making the Fenton reaction slow and narrowing the applications in which it is effective. Our new process stabilizes the radicals using a non-enzymatic chelator, similar to the non-enzymatic chelator process used by brown-rot fungi to decay wood.  The result is an effective, clean oxidation process for the degradation of a wide variety of compounds, particularly dyes.

Experiments have demonstrated the effectiveness of this new process in the following areas:

1. Waste degradation – in most instances 90% of organic dyes removed in 10 minutes.

2. Forming fiberboard – softwood fiber prepared in a wet process fiberboard method showed increased internal bond strength, meaning this method could reduce or eliminate the need for adhesives in bonded wood products.

3. Preparation of adhesives – shown to produce adhesives to bond lignocellulosic material to non-lignocellulosic material.

TECH REF: 2003-03, 2000-03

PATENT: US 7,396,974 , US 6,046,375

DEVELOPMENT PLAN:  Need to understand from textile and paper mills which dyes are most problematic, or which dyes industry would like to use but currently do not due to processing expense.


Barry Goodell , Virginia Tech

Jody Jellison , Virginia Tech

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