In this study, the applicability of calcined starfish (SF) and iron-coated SF (ICSF) as potential adsorbents for the treatment of wastewater containing heavy metal ions was evaluated. ICSF was prepared by mixing FeCl3 solution previously adjusted to pH 7 ∼ 9 with SF at 105 °C. From the dissolution test at pH 2, ICSF showed strong acid-proof properties. In the batch adsorption, Cu(II) adsorption onto ICSF was completed within 150 minutes, while 47% Cu(II) was removed with SF alone. This result clearly suggests that the coated Fe(III) serves additional adsorption sites, resulting in the enhanced removal of heavy metal ions. The removed fraction of both Cu(II) and Pb(II) increased with increasing solution pH and nearly complete removals of Pb(II) and Cu(II) were observed at around pH 6 and 8, respectively. From the adsorption isotherm of Cu(II) onto SF and ICSF at pH 3.0, the removed amount of Cu(II) by ICSF was greater than that by SF over the entire concentration range studied. In the column test, the breakthrough of Cu(II) in the ICSF column was greatly retarded compared to that in the SF column. Based on the drinking water regulations for Cu(II), SF and ICSF were able to remove 3400 and 8600 mg/kg of Cu(II) from the wastewater, respectively.

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