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Pre-treatment of Industrial Wastewater Polluted with Lead Using Adsorbents and Ultrafiltration or Microfiltration Membranes

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This work investigated the use of ultrafiltration (UF) or microfiltration (MF) membranes combined with natural minerals for the pre-treatment of wastewater containing high amounts of lead. The effects of initial lead concentration, solution pH, membrane pore size, mineral type and concentration and mineral - metal contact time were investigated. Lead removal accomplished by the UF system was higher in wastewater compared to that obtained in aqueous solutions and this was attributed to the formation of insoluble metal precipitates/complexes, which were effectively retained by the membranes. At pH  =  6 the dominant removal mechanism was precipitation/complexation, while mineral adsorption enhanced lead removal. The combined use of minerals and UF/MF membranes can effectively remove lead from wastewater resulting in a final effluent that can be further treated biologically with no biomass inhibition problems or can be safely discharged into municipal sewers. Kinetics investigation revealed a two-stage diffusion process for all minerals employed. The Langmuir isotherm exhibited the best fit to the experimental data.
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Keywords: adsorption; industrial wastewater; lead removal; microfiltration membranes; pre-treatment; ultrafiltration membranes

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2011

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    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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