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Membrane to Clean Toxic Effluents

  • 21 Jun 2019
  • 3 min read

Recently the scientists at Council of Scientific and Industrial Research- North East Institute of Science and Technology (CSIR-NEIST) have developed a ceramic membrane with the help of a mixture of potter’s clay, stone dust and tea waste which can clean toxic effluents.

  • The membrane was tested on effluents from a textile unit. It could remove adsorptive dyes from wastewater.
  • The study was funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST).


  • These filters are especially useful in petrochemical processing, where it is not possible to use organic membranes.
  • It is capable of discolouring two commonly used dyes - methylene blue and Congo red -from water.
    • Methylene blue is a toxic dye, while Congo red is a known cancer-causing agent.
  • Ceramic filters and membranes are commonly used in several sectors like food and beverage, drugs and chemicals, waste recovery and recycling industries.


  • Ceramic membranes can withstand frequent cleaning, harsh operating environments and situations that require continuous flows of material.
  • They can also be regenerated over many cycles and used for separation of both aqueous and non-aqueous solutions.
  • The newly developed membrane has good thermal and chemical stability.
  • The used membrane could also be regenerated by heating at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, without much loss of efficiency.

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

  • CSIR is an autonomous research and development body established by the Government of India in 1942.
  • It covers a wide spectrum of science and technology –from radio and space physics, oceanography, geophysics, chemicals, drugs, genomics, biotechnology and nanotechnology to mining, aeronautics, instrumentation, environmental engineering and information technology.
  • It provides significant technological intervention in many areas with regard to societal efforts which include environment, health, drinking water, food, housing, energy, farm and non-farm sectors.
  • CSIR Firsts
    • First to introduce DNA fingerprinting in India.
    • Designed & developed India’s first all-composite aircraft Hansa.
    • Designed and developed India’s first 14-seater plane ‘SARAS’.
    • First to produce baby food from buffalo milk by the name of Amulspray.
    • First to produce the indelible ink used in elections in the country.
    • Completed the first Complete Genome Sequencing of an Indian.
    • First indigenous “Electronic Nose” to detect toxic fumes.
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