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Removal of As(III) and As(V) using iron-rich sludge produced from coal mine drainage treatment plant


To test the feasibility of the reuse of iron-rich sludge (IRS) produced from a coal mine drainage treatment plant for removing As(III) and As(V) from aqueous solutions, we investigated various parameters, such as contact time, pH, initial As concentration, and competing ions, based on the IRS characterization. The IRS consisted of goethite and calcite, and had large surface area and small particles. According to energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy mapping results, As was mainly removed by adsorption onto iron oxides. The adsorption kinetic studies showed that nearly 70 % adsorption of As was achieved within 1 h, and the pseudo-second-order model well explained As sorption on the IRS. The adsorption isotherm results agreed with the Freundlich isotherm model, and the maximum adsorption capacities for As(III) and As(V) were 66.9 and 21.5 mg/g, respectively, at 293 K. In addition, the adsorption showed the endothermic character. At high pH or in the presence of phosphate, the adsorption of As was decreased. When the desorption experiment was conducted to reuse the IRS, 85 % As was desorbed with 1.0 N NaOH. In the column experiment, adsorbed As in real acid mine drainage was 43 % of the maximum adsorbed amount of As in the batch test. These results suggested that the IRS is an effective adsorbent for As and can be effectively applied for the removal of As in water and wastewater.

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This research is financially supported by Korea Environment Industry and Technology Institute (KEITI) through GAIA project.

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Correspondence to Kitae Baek.

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Responsible editor: Bingcai Pan

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Yang, J., Kim, Y., Park, S. et al. Removal of As(III) and As(V) using iron-rich sludge produced from coal mine drainage treatment plant. Environ Sci Pollut Res 21, 10878–10889 (2014).

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  • Adsorption
  • Acid mine drainage (AMD)
  • Arsenic
  • Kinetics
  • Treatment