Coagulation and precipitation appear to be the most efficient and economical methods for the removal of antimony from aqueous solution. In this study, antimony removal from synthetic water and Fe solubility with ferric chloride (FC) coagulation has been investigated. The effects of pH, FC dosage, initial antimony loading and mixed Sb(III), Sb(V) proportions on Fe solubility and antimony removal were studied. The results showed that the Sb(III) removal efficiency increased with the increase of solution pH particularly due to an increase in Fe precipitation. The Sb(V) removal was influenced by the solution pH due to a change in Fe solubility. However, the Fe solubility was only impaired by the Sb(III) species at optimum pH 7. The removal efficiencies of both Sb species were enhanced with an increase in FC dose. The quantitative analysis of the isotherm study revealed the strong adsorption potential of Sb(III) on Fe precipitates as compared to Sb(V). Furthermore, the removal behavior of antimony was inhibited in mixed proportion with high Sb(V) fraction. In conclusion, this study contributes to better understanding the fate of Sb species, their mobilities, and comparative removal behavior, with implications for Fe solubility using ferric chloride in different aqueous environments.
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