Batch isotherm studies using spiked sewage samples containing a range of total soluble nickel concentrations typical of municipal sewage strongly suggested that it is the free (i.e. uncomplexed) nickel ion that is sorbed by activated sludge. Equations relating nickel uptake by activated sludge to free nickel ion concentrations and the extent of complexation in untreated sewage were developed and applied. Predicted and measured nickel removals generally agreed to within ± 30%.

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