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Simultaneous removal and recovery of cadmium and cyanide ions in synthetic wastewater by ion exchange


Simultaneous removal and recovery of cyanide and cadmium ions using a strong-base anion exchange resin was studied on the basis of formation of Cd-CN complexes at high pH in synthetic wastewater containing cyanide and cadmium ions. Strong-base anion exchange resin particles, of Dowex1X8-50, were contacted with synthetic aqueous solutions. For different molar ratios between cyanide and cadmium, ion exchange characteristics of cadmium-cyanide complexes were studied experimentally in a batch reactor. Treatment efficiencies of packed and fluidized beds were compared under various conditions. Several regenerants, NaSCN, NaCN, and NaOH, were used to regenerate the exhausted resin. The rates of regeneration and recovery for the various regenerants were estimated and discussed. The resin used in this work, Dowex1X8-50, can exchange about 6.6 CIST meq./g resin and 3.2 Cd2+ meq./g resin of cyanide and cadmium ions as complexes, respectively. Free cyanide ion has a lower selectivity than Cd-CN complexes on the anion exchange resin. The degree of treatment efficiency applied in this study was greater in the fluidized bed than packed bed. NaSCN was the best regenerant among regenerants used for regeneration of resin saturated with Cd-CN complexes.

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Co :

inlet concentration of reactant [mg/l]

Ci :

effluent concentration of reactant [mg/l]

Hi :

height of initial static bed [m]


molar concentration [mg-mole/l]

Tb :

breakthrough time [min]


total cadmium concentration [mg-mole/l]


total cyanide concentration [mg-mole/l]


superstitial fluid velocity in axial direction [mm/s]

Umf :

minimum fluidizing velocity [mm/s]


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Correspondence to Seung Jai Kim.

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Kim, S.J., Lim, K.H., Park, Y.G. et al. Simultaneous removal and recovery of cadmium and cyanide ions in synthetic wastewater by ion exchange. Korean J. Chem. Eng. 18, 686–691 (2001).

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Key words

  • Ion Exchange
  • Simultaneous Removal
  • Cadmium and Cyanide
  • Recovery