Heavy Metal Extraction From Water Using Cavitation of Hydrogen Bubbles

Technology #ua15-082

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Shane Snyder
Professor, Chemical & Environmental Engr
Pierre Deymier
Department Head, Materials Science & Engineering
Rajesh Balachandran
Student Group D, Materials Science & Engr
Manish Keswani
Assistant Professor, Materials Science & Engineering
Managed By
Robert Sleeper
Licensing Manager (520) 626-4604


The technology presented within the invention disclosure builds on the inventors’ prior art creating a novel way to extract heavy metals from aqueous solutions (i.e. water) for at least two purposes:

•       cleaning substrates (e.g. semiconductor wafer chips) and

•       water treatment purposes.

The technology uses the concept of electrochemical properties and sonolysis to achieve success at removing contaminants from either an electronic substrate or from water. This is done by applying a bias to a microelectrode, while irradiating with ultrasound radiation. Hydrogen bubbles are then induced into the aqueous medium aiding in the removal of contaminants.  The system ablates away unwanted heavy metals from cavities within thus separating contaminants from the solution.  Other available options have a firm spot in the industry of water treatment such as membrane filtration and precipitation.



Many industrial processes (e.g., battery recycling, metal refineries, tanning industry, etc.) generate wastewaters that contain toxic metals.  Surface and groundwater can also be contaminated with toxic metals and/or metalloids due to the weathering of sediments/rock, mining activities or industrial emissions.  Conventional treatment methods involve chemical precipitation, adsorption, membrane filtration, and ion exchange methods, which can be costly, non-selective or generate large amounts of toxic wastes (bulky chemical sludge, metal-laden sorbents or brines) that require expensive disposal and poses a potential liability.  Cleaner, cost effective methods are needed that allow the removal and/or recovery of such metals/metalloids from aqueous streams.



This technology can lead to many advances the in the fields of:


•       Water reclamation

•       Water processing

•       Factory automation

•       Electronics manufacturing

•       Food processing

•       Heavy metal harvesting


Technology Identification number: UA093109



1.       Manish Keswani

2.       Pierre Deymier

3.       Shane Snyder

4.       Rajesh Balachandran


Licensing Manager:

Robert Sleeper, J.D.

Licensing Manager, College of Engineering


Ofc: 520-626-4604