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A combined system of microwave-functionalized rice husk and poly-aluminium chloride for trace cadmium-contaminated source water purification: Exploration of removal efficiency and mechanism

Qu, Jianhua, Meng, Xianlin, Zhang, Ying, Meng, Qingjuan, Tao, Yue, Hu, Qi, Jiang, Xingying, You, Hong, Shoemaker, Christine A.
Journal of hazardous materials 2019 v.379 pp. 120804
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, adsorption, aluminum chloride, cadmium, chelation, drinking water treatment, heavy metals, ion exchange, mammals, microwave radiation, pH, processing time, rice hulls, turbidity, water pollution, water purification
Cadmium is highly poisonous to mammals and related water pollution incidents are increasing world-widely. Here, the clean-up of trace Cd(II) by a combined process of microwave-functionalized rice husk (RHMW-M) and poly aluminium chloride (PAC) was investigated for the first time, with the exploration of removal mechanism and efficacy. Microwave irradiation was found to be a new approach to achieve the functionalized procedure, which could decrease the processing time from 2.5 h to 390 s with the Cd(II) uptake of the outcome product soaring from 137.16 mg/g to 191.32 mg/g. The ultra-rapidly prepared RHMW-M exhibited a fast adsorption equilibrium within 30 min over a wide pH range of 5.0–8.0, and the FT-IR and XPS studies confirmed that both ion exchange and chelation were functioned in the Cd(II) uptake process. Controlled by the turbidity threshold of drinking water treatment plant, the feasible dosage of RHMW-M in the absence and presence of 30 mg/L PAC increased from 30 to 760 mg/L, which could effectively deal with the trace Cd(II) at the concentration from 33 μg/L up to 0.933 mg/L, exhibiting much better performance than traditional alkali precipitation. Predictably, this simple and scalable RHMW-M/PAC system could afford a promising end-of-pipe solution for heavy-metal contamination.