*WINNER* Modeling the Removal of Cosmetic Dyes by Using Hydrogel Materials in a CSTR


  • Varsha Balram


Dyes, or their degradation products in water, can cause various human health disorders including but not limited to hemorrhage, ulceration of skin and mucous membranes, and severe damage to the kidney. Even trace amounts of dye in effluent is highly undesirable due to its pollutive effects. Treatment methods for wastewater that are currently pursued include biological treatments, coagulation, ion exchange, and membrane filtration. While there is a considerable amount of research for textile dye effluent wastewater treatment, toxic dyes produced by cosmetic and personal care industries remain yet to be investigated.

The current state of knowledge about treatment of wastewater from the cosmetics industry is poor, which is evidenced by the number of publications on the subject. A number of adverse health effects from cosmetic dyes have been reported, such as birth defects, brain damage, and environmental pollution. Therefore, it is important to address this growing concern within the cosmetic industry. It has been widely hypothesized that adsorption is an efficient method for dye removal in wastewater, and hydrogel beads are efficient adsorbents for this purpose. In this research project, a liquid-solid phase, continuous-stirring tank reactor (CSTR) is modeled via volumetric and area-averaging approaches to derive the up-scaled reactor equation. The model applies for the case of treating wastewater with cosmetic dyes, where adsorption takes place on the surface of the hydrogel beads, extracting these toxic dyes. Key aspects of the upscaling process with illustrative results will be presented and future work outlined.