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Mercury Removal from Aqueous Solutions Using Modified Pyrite: A Column Experiment

by Yucheng Zhu 1,2, Shuchuan Peng 1,2,*, Ping Lu 1,2, Tianhu Chen 1,2 and Yan Yang 3
School of Resource and Environmental Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009, China
Key Laboratory of Nanominerals and Pollution Control of Anhui Higher Education Institutes, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009, China
Civil Engineering, College of Engineering and Informatics, National University of Ireland, H91 TK33 Galway, Ireland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2020, 10(1), 43;
Received: 8 November 2019 / Revised: 23 December 2019 / Accepted: 27 December 2019 / Published: 31 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Sorbents)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: modified pyrite; Hg(II) removal; fixed-bed column; calcination modified pyrite; Hg(II) removal; fixed-bed column; calcination
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Zhu, Y.; Peng, S.; Lu, P.; Chen, T.; Yang, Y. Mercury Removal from Aqueous Solutions Using Modified Pyrite: A Column Experiment. Minerals 2020, 10, 43.

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