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J Hazard Mater. 2012 Nov 30;241-242:14-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2012.09.030. Epub 2012 Sep 24.

Turning the volume down on heavy metals using tuned diatomite. A review of diatomite and modified diatomite for the extraction of heavy metals from water.

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Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Industrial, Parque Tecnologico Industrial Miguelete, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Contamination of water by heavy metals is a global problem, to which an inexpensive and simple solution is required. Within this context the unique properties of diatomite and its abundance in many regions of the world have led to the current widespread interest in this material for water purification purposes. Defined sections on articles published on the use of raw and modified diatomite for the removal of heavy metal pollutants from water are critically reviewed. The capability of the materials as extracting agents for individual species and mixtures of heavy metals are considered in terms of the kinetics, the thermodynamics and the recyclability for both, the pollutant and the extracting material. The concept of 'selectivity' for the enrichment of naturally occurring materials such as diatomite through the introduction of suitable functionalities in their structure to target a given pollutant is emphasised. Suggestions for further research in this area are given.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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