Vol. 4 No. 2 Suppl. 1 (2020) - About Water: Novel Technologies for the New Millennium
Special Issue Article

Selective Removal of Toxic Ions from Water/Wastewater: Using a Novel Surfactant

Mohammad Ziaee
School of Science, University of New South Wales, Northcott Drive, Canberra, ACT 2610, Australia
Mojtaba Taseidifar
School of Science, University of New South Wales, Northcott Drive, Canberra, ACT 2610, Australia
Richard M. Pashley
School of Science, University of New South Wales, Northcott Drive, Canberra, ACT 2610, Australia
Barry W. Ninham
Department of Applied Mathematics, Research School of Physical Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Published 2021-03-22


  • Ion Flotation,
  • Green Surfactant,
  • Chemical synthetic surfactant,
  • Biosurfactant,
  • Water Treatment,
  • Toxic heavy metals
  • ...More

How to Cite

Ziaee, M., Taseidifar, M., Pashley, R. M. ., & Ninham, B. W. (2021). Selective Removal of Toxic Ions from Water/Wastewater: Using a Novel Surfactant. Substantia, 79–88. https://doi.org/10.36253/Substantia-830


Pollution of drinking water by toxic heavy-metal ions is a matter of concern worldwide. These ions occur naturally, and also from environmental spills, radioactive wastes and other industrial waste. Arsenic and lead are typical examples. A novel green surfactant, purpose designed, and environmentally friendly is shown to be extremely effective and specific for heavy metal ion removal.

This is a considerable step forward on previous technologies. Surfactants have been used universally to remove organic and inorganic contaminants from water. But little selectivity has been achieved. After usage, the residual surfactants are discharged into surface waters or sewage systems.  This causes environmental pollution.

In this review, three surfactants from different classes (novel green surfactant, synthetic chemical surfactant and biosurfactant) are compared in terms of their efficiency in flotation, removal of different heavy-metal ions, biodegradability, and toxicity level, including their advantages and disadvantages.


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