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Polymer Flakes for the removal of cations, anions and lipophilic compounds from fluids

COPDecontaminationESTECHPolymer flakesPurificationTrattamento acqueWastewater treatmentWide application range


The invention refers to the synthesis of functional polymer flakes and their use to remove different kinds of pollutants from fluids. In particular, the polymer flakes can be conveniently functionalized to capture metal/organic cations, metal/organic anions, hydrocarbons, fluorinated molecules or chlorinated compounds. The working conditions for these systems cover a wide range of temperature and pH and make them a versatile system for the decontamination of different fluid streams.

Technical features

This invention refers to polymer flakes, with average size between 1 and 500 μm, able to selectively adsorb cations, anions and lipophilic compounds. The flakes can be easily dispersed in a fluid stream, interact with the pollutant and be separated by filtration, centrifugation or cyclones. In addition, the adsorbed species can be recovered using a suitable cleaning solution, thus restoring the flake efficiency for a further purification cycle. The efficiency of these formulations has been tested for more than 10 treatment/regeneration cycles, with only a poor reduction (<10%) in the performances. Differently from the available technologies, the polymer flakes described in this invention show a very high surface area for high adsorption performances and are active at any value of pH and in a wide range of temperature (0 – 100 °C).

Possible Applications

  • Removal of heavy metal ions from galvanic wastewater;
  • Removal of heavy metal ions from alimentary fluids;
  • Water remediation;
  • Decontamination from pesticides;
  • Removal of perfluorinated compounds;
  • Hydrocarbon recovery and reutilization.


  • The polymer flakes can be easily tailored to make them suitable to different applications;
  • Different surface functionalization can be provided with simple chemistry;
  • Stable and efficient in a wide range of temperature and pH;
  • Suitable to adsorb different polluting species: heavy metal cations and/or anions, hydrocarbons, fluorinated and/or chlorinated compounds.