ABSTRACT In this paper is describing the physicochemical behavior of polyelectrolytes (PEs) used in waste water treatment with mono-, di-and trivalent metal ions as K+, Mg2+, Zn2+, Fe3+, Sn2+, Cd2+, Pb2+, Cu2+, Ni2+, Al3+ and Cr3+. A coagulant polyelectrolyte Poly(vinyl sulfate) potassium salt (PVSK), and a commercial available Flocculant Trident 2756, were used as models for the study. The colloidal titration UV-Vis spectroscopy technique was successfully implemented in order to evaluate the complexation of PEs with Toluidine Blue O (OTB) and the ability of different metal ions to displace the OTB from the PE-OTB complex and form the PE-metal ion complex. From the experiments was concluded that PVSK has a high affinity for Al3+ and Mg2+while the Flocculant has the highest affinity for Sn2+ followed by Zn2+and Mg2+. The absorbance profiles of polyelectrolyte-OTB complex (Absorbance vs. Metal/PE) were used to calculate association constants. On the other hand, the mass balance of OTB and its absorbance profiles were used to calculate the association constants of polyelectrolyte-metal ion complexes. Thus metal ions with the highest affinities have the highest association constant. Metal ions with the highest affinities present the highest values of association constant.
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