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Efficient mercury recovery from mercuric-thiosulfate solutions by ultraviolet photolysis
- Wang, Wei, Han, Chao, Xie, Feng
- Environmental chemistry letters 2018 v.16 no.3 pp. 1049-1054
- X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, fluorescent lighting, lamps, mercury, pH, photolysis, temperature, thermometers, thermostats, thiosulfates, toxicity, wastes
- Mercury-containing wastes are hazardous due to the high toxicity and bio-accumulative effect of mercury. Examples of mercury-containing wastes include fluorescent light bulbs, thermostats, and thermometers. Recently, several aqueous-phase methods have been developed to extract mercury from mercury-containing wastes. However, the slow kinetics of mercury recovery limits the application of the aqueous-based technology. Here we designed a method of mercury recovery from a mercuric-thiosulfate solution assisted by ultraviolet photolysis. We evaluated the effect of initial pH, thiosulfate concentration and temperature on ultraviolet photolysis. The precipitation products were characterized by X-ray diffraction and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Results show a mercury recovery ratio of 87.94% after ultraviolet photolysis during 240 min. We conclude that mercury can be efficiently recovered from mercuric-thiosulfate complex solutions by ultraviolet photolysis.