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Competitive immobilization of Pb in an aqueous ternary-metals system by soluble phosphates with varying pH

Zhang, Zhuo, Ren, Jie, Wang, Mei, Song, Xinlai, Zhang, Chao, Chen, Jiayu, Li, Fasheng, Guo, Guanlin
Chemosphere 2016 v.159 pp. 58-65
X-ray diffraction, cadmium, chlorides, heavy metals, lead, mineral content, minerals, pH, polluted soils, potassium dihydrogen phosphate, scanning electron microscopy, wastewater, water pollution, zinc
Chemical immobilization by phosphates has been widely and successfully applied to treat Pb in wastewater and contaminated soils. Pb in wastewaters and soils, however, always coexists with other heavy metals and their competitive reactions with phosphates have not been quantitatively and systematically studied. In this approach, immobilization of Pb, Zn, and Cd by mono-, di-, and tripotassium phosphate (KH2PO4, K2HPO4, and K3PO4) was observed in the single- and ternary-metals solutions. The immobilization rates of the three metals were determined by the residual concentration. The mineral composition and structure of the precipitates were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results indicated that competitive reaction occurred in Pb-Zn-Cd ternary system, with immobilization rates decrease of <3.6%, <78%, and <89% for Pb, Zn and Cd (molar ratios of P: metal <1), respectively, compared to single metal system. The reaction of Pb with three phosphates exhibited intense competitiveness and the phosphates had a stronger affinity for Pb when Cl− was added. Pb-phosphate minerals formed by KH2PO4 with the better crystalline characteristics and largest size were very stable with a low dissolution rate (<0.02%) in the solution of pH 2.88, compared to K2HPO4 and K3PO4. This study demonstrated that Pb could be firstly and effectively immobilized by phosphates in multi-metal solutions containing Pb, Zn and Cd. Moreover, the research provided the insight of the importance of phosphate with low pH (e.g. KH2PO4) and the presence of Cl− for more efficient immobilization of Pb in the multi-metals pollution system.