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Resource recovery of wastewater treatment sludge: synthesis of a magnetic cancrinite adsorbent

Bian, Rui, Zhu, Junna, Chen, Yu, Yu, Yang, Zhu, Suiyi, Zhang, Leilei, Huo, Mingxin
RSC advances 2019 v.9 no.62 pp. 36248-36255
adsorbents, adsorption, aluminum, ascorbic acid, crystallization, drinking water, ferrihydrite, hematite, hot water treatment, iron, magnetic properties, magnetism, magnetite, silicon, sludge, sodium hydroxide, solid wastes, tetracycline, wastewater, wastewater treatment
Water treatment sludge, which is mechanically dewatered and landfilled as solid waste, is considerably generated in water plants for potable water production. Herein, a novel route to hydrothermally convert this sludge into magnetic particles (MPs) is demonstrated. The sludge comprised amorphous aggregates with a relatively high Al/Si ratio of 3.7 and low Fe content of 8.5 wt%. After hydrothermal treatment, the Al/Si ratio of the MPs was approximated to 1, which was unaffected as the NaOH concentration increased from 2 M to 4 M or 6 M. The amorphous sludge was converted to MPs in the following order: spherical sodalite with a diameter of 3–5 μm, large spherical sodalite with a diameter of 5–10 μm and crystal dendritic cancrinite. Dendritic cancrinite was generated by recrystallisation of amorphous Al/Si oxides with spherical sodalite as the intermediate. With the addition of ascorbic acid, magnetisation of the weakly magnetised sludge increased from 0.11 emu g⁻¹ to 3.6 emu g⁻¹ and 14.8 emu/g by raising the NaOH concentration from 2 M to 4 M and 6 M. The magnetic property was related to the magnetite generated from the reduction of ferrihydrite and hematite in the sludge by the added ascorbic acid. Dendritic cancrinite exhibited an optimal surface site concentration of 0.31 mmol g⁻¹ and desirable adsorption capacity of tetracycline (TC) (482.6 mg g⁻¹), which were twice those of spherical sodalite prepared with 4 M NaOH. This study not only highlights the resource recovery of wastewater treatment sludge for MP preparation but also presents a new and effective adsorbent for treatment of TC-containing wastewater.