Water represents one of the essential resources on earth, and all living organisms rely on it for survival. However, freshwater systems are directly under serious threat by human activities. A recent World Health Organization report has estimated that 2 billion people use contaminated water sources. The major organic contaminants in water bodies include organic dyes. These are directly related to the spread of diseases owing to their allergenic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic characteristics. Dyes occur in the environment through untreated industrial effluents. Also, the advancement in human civilisation cannot be considered without the development of modern industries. However, an attempt to limit the resulting impacts of coloured effluents on global freshwater quality has become the focus of recent research. For this reason, the use of efficient, simple, and low-cost methods for the treatment of dyes-containing industrial wastewater could serve as a useful tool. An effort to meet the demand for “green chemistry” and sustainable development has led to several investigations on polysaccharide-based adsorbents. This chapter exposes a critical discussion on the literature concerning the biopolymeric xanthan gum and kappa-carrageenan polysaccharides as adsorbents for dye removal in an aqueous medium. Functionalisation of these biopolymers through graft copolymerisation and inclusion of inorganic nanoparticles for improved adsorption performance is systematically elaborated.
Part of the book: Novel Nanomaterials