The aim of this work is to examine copper removal from sludge permeate with the use of low-cost minerals of Mediterranean origin combined with ultrafiltration membranes. The minerals used were zeolite (clinoptilolite), bentonite and vermiculite. Activated sludge was enriched with 0.01 N (317.7 ppm) of Cu(II). Fixed concentrations of minerals were added to sludge and the pH value was adjusted at 5.5. The mixture was agitated for 2 hours at 800 rpm at room temperature and was then filtered through a batch ultrafiltration system for 1 hour. This experiment was repeated, for comparison purposes, with sludge enriched with 0.01 N of Cu(II) with no mineral addition. The results showed that ultrafiltration membranes with no mineral addition were able to remove a significant amount of copper with removal efficiencies ranging from 59.4–78.3%. The addition of 10 g/l and 20 g/l of bentonite combined with ultrafiltration membranes resulted in removal efficiencies of 94.9% and 99.4% respectively and that of 10 g/l and 20 g/l of vermiculite in removal efficiencies of 93.8% and 96.8%, respectively. The ion exchange capacity of minerals followed the order bentonite > vermiculite > zeolite. Furthermore, membrane fouling was investigated. The addition of zeolite and bentonite reduced membrane fouling, while the addition of vermiculite did not impact on fouling. The use of low-cost minerals in combination with ultrafiltration membranes can be employed to treat industrial wastewater, resulting in a final effluent with very low copper concentrations.
Copper removal from sludge permeate with ultrafiltration membranes using zeolite, bentonite and vermiculite as adsorbents
S. Malamis, E. Katsou, M. Stylianou, K. J. Haralambous, M. Loizidou; Copper removal from sludge permeate with ultrafiltration membranes using zeolite, bentonite and vermiculite as adsorbents. Water Sci Technol 1 February 2010; 61 (3): 581–589. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2010.859
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