Insoluble (ISX) and soluble starch xanthate (SSX) were synthesized in the laboratory from corn starch, and were used for metal [Cd(II), Cu(II) and Cr(VI)] removal from aqueous systems. Results indicate that soluble as well as insoluble xanthate processes are capable of meeting various effluent disposal standards. Metal removal by both the processes is maximum in the pH range 4 to 5. Mechanism of Cu(I I)-xanthate and Cr(VI)-xanthate interaction is also discussed. From overall comparison of the two processes it appears that theinsoluble xanthate process has an edge over the solublexanthate process in terms of metal removal capacity, reliability and ease of operation, particularly for cadmium removal. However, soluble xanthate process appears to be relatively less expensive compared to insoluble xanthate.

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