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Removal of Heavy Metals from Urban Stormwater using Pervious Concrete

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Pervious concrete is a sustainable alternative to conventional impervious pavement materials because it allows water to infiltrate into the subsurface, thus solving problems associated with stormwater quantity and quality. This study aims to deepen the understanding of the chemical processes involved in removing heavy metals using pervious concrete. A percolation testing system was developed to ensure that results were repeatable and realistic. Percolation tests were conducted on samples of pervious concrete for 24-hours trials, using copper as the target heavy metal contaminate, and achieved copper removal between 50-60%. Further tests designed to investigate the prevalence of ion exchange and precipitation removal mechanisms provided evidence that removal is predominately achieved through precipitation. Iron oxide was added into the pervious concrete because it was believed its known ion exchange properties would improve the removal efficiency of the concrete. Despite promising results from preliminary tests, iron oxide did not have a significant impact on the removal of copper during percolation testing.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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