Adsorptive removal of five heavy metals from water using blast furnace slag and fly ash

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2018, 25 (21), pp. 20430 - 20438
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2017, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany. Heavy metals can be serious pollutants of natural water bodies causing health risks to humans and aquatic organisms. The purpose of this study was to investigate the removal of five heavy metals from water by adsorption onto an iron industry blast furnace slag waste (point of zero charge (PZC) pH 6.0; main constituents, Ca and Fe) and a coal industry fly ash waste (PZC 3.0; main constituents, Si and Al). Batch study revealed that rising pH increased the adsorption of all metals with an abrupt increase at pH 4.0–7.0. The Langmuir adsorption maximum for fly ash at pH 6.5 was 3.4–5.1 mg/g with the adsorption capacity for the metals being in the order Pb > Cu > Cd, Zn, Cr. The corresponding values for furnace slag were 4.3 to 5.2 mg/g, and the order of adsorption capacities was Pb, Cu, Cd > Cr > Zn. Fixed-bed column study on furnace slag/sand mixture (1:1 w/w) revealed that the adsorption capacities were generally less in the mixed metal system (1.1–2.1 mg/g) than in the single metal system (3.4–3.5 mg/g). The data for both systems fitted well to the Thomas model, with the adsorption capacity being the highest for Pb and Cu in the single metal system and Pb and Cd in the mixed metal system. Our study showed that fly ash and blast furnace slag are effective low-cost adsorbents for the simultaneous removal of Pb, Cu, Cd, Cr and Zn from water.
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