Research at UAF - Radiation Treatment of Industrial Wastewater
PRICIPLE INVESTIGATER: Dr. Ijaz Ahmad Bhatti Associate Professor (Chemistry)
Phone No. 041-9200161-67 Ext.3309
Fax: 041-9200764
CO-PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Dr. Muhammad Rafique Asi Senior Scientist, Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB) Faisalabad.
COST: 2.72 Millions
DURATION: 24 Months
FUNDING AGENCY: Higher Education Commission (HEC) Islamabad Pakistan

Progress Reports


With it multifarious uses, water is one of the most precious gifts of nature, without which no life could survive on earth. Water pollution means such contamination of water that causes alteration of the physical, chemical and biological properties of water. Mainly contamination occurs by discharge of any sewage/trade effluents or of any other liquids, solids and gases into water. When these pollutants get mix with water bodies, cause water pollution and dangerous for human being, crops and aquatic life. Although industrial wastewater is usually characterized by rather high solute concentrations as compared to ground or drinking water. When dilute aqueous solutions are irradiated practically all the energy absorbed is deposited in water molecules and the observed chemical changes are brought about indirectlyvia the free radical species formed, referred to as water radiolysis. Directaction, due to energy deposited directly in the solute is generally unimportant, in dilute solutions the radiation mainly affect the water molecules resulting the formation of hydroxyl free radicals, hydrogen free radical with aqueous electron and other products. The hydroxyl free radicals cause oxidation while the hydrogen radical/aqueous electron causes reduction via free radical mechanism. So radiation treatment effectively destructs the pollutant through the oxidation and reduction.
The study will be focused on radiation treatment of wastewater obtained from different industries such as textile, tanneries, paper and board etc. The organic compounds released with wastewater such as dyes, binder, etc. from dyes industries, Phenol, Nitrophenols, Chlorophenols, heavy metal etc. from tanneries industries   will be treated by radiation using gamma radiation, UV, etc. The treated samples will be analyzed by UV/Vis, FTIR, HPLC, GC, GC-MS and LC-MS. The proposed mechanism of the degradation will be suggested on the basis of results obtained. In the present project comparative studies will also be performed to evaluate the potentials of irradiation of wastewater with the other conventional physical, chemical and biological treatment methods.
The present project is of great national importance concerning the situation of water crises in the country. Radiation treatment of wastewater will reduce the potential of pollution in industrial wastewater before being discharged and probably will be utilized for agricultural purposes and safe for aquatic life.

This research project was designed keeping in view the following objectives.

  • Safe method as compared to conventional methods.
  • No need for chemical additive repeatedly for water treatment processes.
  • No residual effect that can be harmful to humans/aquatic life.
  • To convert the toxic chemicals present in the industrial wastewater into less toxic residue or environmental friendly products like low molecular weight carboxylic acids/CO2 and H2O.    
  • To manipulate the situation of water crisis for agriculture in the country.
  • To measure the water quality parameters whether these are up to standard or not?
  • To provide technical assistance to the local industries especially dyes and textile, tanneries, pulp and paper for the treatment of their wastewater before being discharged.

Sketch of Methodology

  • Model organic compound (Dyes, Phenol, Cholorophenol, Nitrophenol etc)  (Treatment)    Radiolytic degradation (Analysis of end products)     low molecular weight carboxylic acid, CO2, H2O, etc.
  • Industrial effluents (Dyes, Textile, Tanneries, etc)             Evaluation of water quality parameters (Treatment)   Analyses of water quality parameters in order to check the treatment efficiency.  

The project will be commenced in near future.