Image Number 7 for United States Patent #5728295.
Metal ions and/or complexes of metal ions are removed from a solution by formation of an insoluble chelated complex of the metal ions and a polymeric precipitating agent. A two-step process of mixing the influent with the precipitating agent is used to induce rapid precipitation and obtain large, self-agglomerated precipitate without addition of flocculating agent and/or pH adjustment. In addition, parallel loops are employed to simultaneously discharge treated metal-free solution and effectively collect/remove the precipitate-containing sludge without interfering with each other. The metal capturing capacity of the polymeric precipitant is maximized by forcing the influent solution through layers of the collected precipitate and by recycling unsaturated metal-precipitant complexes in the processing loop.