Modified pyrite (MPy), which was obtained from calcination in an N2
atmosphere, was used as a sorbent for removing Hg(II) from aqueous solutions. Fixed-bed column experiments were conducted to determine the Hg(II) removal ability of MPy from aqueous solutions. MPy was found to be much better than natural pyrite for mercury removal. The concentration of Hg(II) in effluents was much lower than that of the emission standard used for Hg wastewater in China (0.05 mg/L), and the removal efficiency of Hg(II) was greater than 99% before breakthrough. When the capacity was 3274 times the column bed volume (1 bed volume = 25.12 cm3
), the column breakthrough and the sorption amount of Hg(II) were 54.44 mg/g. The Hg(II) content in the used MPy sorbent was up to 24.79%. The mechanism was analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), field emission transmission electron microscopy (FE-TEM), and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). The main mechanism of Hg(II) removal by MPy was the chemical reactions between mercury ions and mineral fillers, and HgS precipitated on the surface of MPy to remove Hg(II). The reaction was also accompanied by surface complexation and adsorption. The results of this work show that MPy can be used as a sorbent for continuous Hg(II) removal.
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