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Anion and Cation Leaching or Desorption from Activated Carbons from Municipal Sludge and Poultry Manure as Affected by pH

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The conversion of municipal sludge and poultry manure to activated carbon results in a significant ash fraction that contains several different anions and cations. The objectives of this study were to determine whether the select ions are released or leached from virgin carbon into the sorption medium at different pH values. Activated carbon was placed in solutions of pH 1, 5, or 7, and the leaching of six cations (cadmium, chromium, copper, nickel, lead, and zinc) and two anions (arsenate and selenate) was recorded. Considerable quantities of zinc and copper were removed at pH 1 from all carbon sources. However, the amounts leached at pH 5 and 7 were small or undetectable. Our results indicate that leaching or desorption from carbons made from municipal sludge or poultry manure is pH-dependent and occurs readily under highly acidic conditions but minimally under pH conditions typically seen in contaminated water or wastewater.

Keywords: activated carbon; adsorption; anion leaching; cation leaching; desorption; municipal sludge; poultry manure

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2006

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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