An approach for the remediation of heavy metal-contaminated wastewater that is gaining increasing attention is the application of hydroxyapatite (HAP)-based particles. HAP is conventionally synthesized through wet chemical precipitation of calcium and phosphate ions, although later studies have focused on HAP synthesis from solid calcite contacted with a phosphate solution under ambient conditions. This synthesis route can allow saving soluble Ca-chemicals and, thus, make the process more cost-efficient. The aim of this study was to coat natural calcite powder with a layer of HAP for the removal of Zn and Cu from contaminated water. For this purpose, a HAP layer was synthesized on calcite particles, characterized using several complementary techniques and evaluated for the removal of Zn and Cu from synthetic solutions. Sorption kinetics and equilibrium isotherms, as well as the effect of sonication of the synthesized sample on its sorption performance, were determined. The results showed that calcite particles were efficiently coated with a HAP layer with high capacity in removing Zn and Cu from acidic solutions, with a qmax
of 34.97 mg/g for Zn (increased to 37.88 g/mg after sonication of the sample) and 60.24 mg/g for Cu (which hardly varied with sonication). The mechanisms behind the sorption of Zn and Cu onto HAP, inferred from pH changes, the relation between metal uptake and Ca2+
release and XRD analysis, included surface complexation, ion exchange and precipitation of new Zn- and Cu-containing phases.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited