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Recovery of nickel ions from wastewater by precipitation approach using silica xerogel

Wang, Ruilin, Ng, Dickon H.L., Liu, Shiquan
Journal of hazardous materials 2019 v.380 pp. 120826
chemical precipitation, dyes, glass, metal ions, nanosheets, nickel, pH, silica, sulfates, wastewater, xerogels
A facile route was developed to recover nickel ions from a synthetic wastewater. It involved the use of silica xerogel containing amine in the nickel sulphate solution resulting in the formation of a greenish precipitate. It was found that this precipitate was mostly amorphous Ni(OH)2 spherical aggregate composed of nanosheets. The pH level of the solution was monitored, and it was maintained in the range of 10–10.5 due to the steady release of amine from the xerogel into the waste solution. The prepared silica xerogel would provide a stable environment for the chemical precipitation of metal ions in wastewater during the whole precipitation process. The silica xerogel was collected and reused for two more cycles of recovery. The nickel removal efficiencies (99.34˜99.65%) kept unchanged and higher than those reported earlier. The collected precipitate that contained nickel hydroxide with some residual silica could be utilized as glass colorant.