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Alginate beads containing water treatment residuals for arsenic removal from water—formation and adsorption studies

Ociński, Daniel, Jacukowicz-Sobala, Irena, Kociołek-Balawejder, Elżbieta
Environmental science and pollution research international 2016 v.23 no.24 pp. 24527-24539
adsorbents, adsorption, anions, arsenates, arsenic, arsenites, calcium alginate, iron, manganese oxides, pH, polymers, water treatment
Water treatment residuals (WTRs) produced in large quantities during deironing and demanganization of infiltration water, due to high content of iron and manganese oxides, exhibit excellent sorptive properties toward arsenate and arsenite. Nonetheless, since they consist of microparticles, their practical use as an adsorbent is limited by difficulties with separation from treated solutions. The aim of this study was entrapment of chemically pretreated WTR into calcium alginate polymer and examination of sorptive properties of the obtained composite sorbent toward As(III) and As(V). Different products were formed varying in WTR content as well as in density of alginate matrix. In order to determine the key parameters of the adsorption process, both equilibrium and kinetic studies were conducted. The best properties were exhibited by a sorbent containing 5 % residuals, formed in alginate solution with a concentration of 1 %. In slightly acidic conditions (pH 4.5), its maximum sorption capacity was 3.4 and 2.9 mg g⁻¹ for As(III) and As(V), respectively. At neutral pH, the adsorption effectiveness decreased to 3.3 mg As g⁻¹ for arsenites and to 0.7 mg As g⁻¹ for arsenates. The presence of carboxylic groups in polymer chains impeded in neutral conditions the diffusion of anions into sorbent beads; therefore, the main rate-limiting step of the adsorption, mainly in the case of arsenates, was intraparticle diffusion. The optimal condition for simultaneous removal of arsenates and arsenites from water by means of the obtained composite sorbent is slightly acidic pH, ensuring similar adsorption effectiveness for both arsenic species.