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J Hazard Mater. 2009 Aug 30;168(1):156-62. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2009.02.009. Epub 2009 Feb 12.

The use of raw and acid-pretreated bivalve mollusk shells to remove metals from aqueous solutions.

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College of Life Science and Technology, Guangxi University, Nanning, Guangxi, PR China.


Heavy metal removal from industrial wastewater is not only to protect living organisms in the environment but also to conserve resources such as metals and water by enabling their reuse. To overcome the disadvantage of high cost and secondary pollution by the conventional physico-chemical treatment techniques, environmentally benign and low-cost adsorbents are in demand. In this study, the use of raw and acid-pretreated bivalve mollusk shells (BMSs) to remove metals from aqueous solutions with single or mixed metal was evaluated at different BMSs doses, pH and temperatures in batch shaking experiments in laboratory conditions. When the BMSs were used to treat CuSO(4)x5H(2)O solution, the copper sorption capacities of the raw and acid-pretreated BMSs were approximately 38.93 mg/g and 138.95 mg/g, respectively. The copper removal efficiency (CRE) of the raw BMSs became greatly enhanced with increasing initial pH, reaching 99.51% at the initial pH 5. Conversely, the CRE of the acid-pretreated BMSs was maintained at 99.48-99.52% throughout the pH range of 1-5. Furthermore, the CRE values of the raw and acid-pretreated BMSs were not greatly changed when the temperature was varied from 15 degrees C to 40 degrees C. In addition, the CRE value of the raw BMSs was maintained for 12 cycles of sorption-desorption with a CRE of 98.4% being observed in the final cycle. Finally, when the BMSs were used to treat electroplating wastewater, the removal efficiencies (REs) of the raw BMSs were 99.97%, 98.99% and 87% for Fe, Zn and Cu, respectively, whereas the REs of the acid-pretreated BMSs were 99.98%, 99.43% and 92.13%, respectively. Ion exchange experiments revealed that one of mechanisms for metal sorption by the BMSs from aqueous solution is related to ion exchange, especially between the metal ions in the treated solution and Ca(2+) from BMSs. Infrared absorbance spectra analysis indicated that the acid pretreatment led to occurrence of the groups (i.e. -OH, -NH, C=O and S=O) of negative charge in treated BMSs. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that acid pretreatment enabled the used BMSs to form the flake-shaped structure with smooth surfaces that can supply a better interface for binding metal ions.

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