Selective removal of arsenic from aqueous solutions with high salinity is required for safe disposal of the concentrate and protection of the environment. The use of drinking water treatment solids (DWTS) to remove arsenic from reverse osmosis (RO) concentrate was studied by batch sorption experiments. The impacts of solution chemistry, contact time, sorbent dosage, and arsenic concentration on sorption were investigated, and arsenic sorption kinetics and isotherms were modeled. The results indicated that DWTS were effective in removing arsenic from RO concentrate. The arsenic sorption process followed a pseudo-second-order kinetic model. Multilayer adsorption was simulated by Freundlich equation. The maximum sorption capacities were calculated to be 170 mg arsenic per gram of DWTS. Arsenic sorption was enhanced by surface precipitation onto the DWTS due to the high amount of calcium in the RO concentrate and the formation of ternary complexes between arsenic and natural organic matter (NOM) bound by the polyvalent cations in DWTS. The interactions between arsenic and NOM in the solid phase and aqueous phase exhibited two-sided effects on arsenic sorption onto DWTS. NOM in aqueous solution hindered the arsenic sorption onto DWTS, while the high organic matter content in solid DWTS phase enhanced arsenic sorption.
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