Adsorption of Pb2+ by insolubilized humic acid extracted from sewage sludge

Abstract

This study used excess sludge from a sewage treatment plant as raw material to extract humic acid (HA) and explore the ability of HA to adsorb Pb2+ from a solution. The effects of the adsorbent amount, solution pH, and co-existing cations on the adsorption process were investigated. The study showed that the humic acid derived from sludge (S-HA) surface had a loose, clustered texture. The S-HA surface contained many oxygen-containing functional groups, such as carboxyl groups, alcohol hydroxyl groups, and phenolic hydroxyl groups. The presence of co-existing cations, such as Na+, NH4+ and Ca2+, in the solution was not conducive to the adsorption of Pb2+ by S-HA. As the solution pH increased, the adsorption of Pb2+ by S-HA gradually increased. The process by which S-HA adsorbed Pb2+ conformed to a pseudo-second order kinetic model. Additionally, the overall adsorption rate was controlled by liquid membrane diffusion and intra-particle diffusion. The adsorption isotherm followed the Langmuir model, and the S-HA had a maximum adsorption capacity of 27.59 mg/g at 25 °C. The adsorption dynamics and thermodynamics results showed that the adsorption of Pb2+ by S-HA occurred via both physical adsorption and chemical adsorption processes.

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Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the financial support of the Natural Science Foundation of Gansu province (No. 20JR10RA236) and the University's Innovation Ability Improvement Project of Gansu Provincial office of Education (2019B-051).

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Correspondence to Liang Dai.

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Dai, L., Zhao, W., Wei, B. et al. Adsorption of Pb2+ by insolubilized humic acid extracted from sewage sludge. J Mater Cycles Waste Manag (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10163-021-01193-9

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Keywords

  • Sewage sludge
  • Humic acid
  • Adsorption
  • Pb2+