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Hydrothermal Conversion of Red Mud into Magnetic Adsorbent for Effective Adsorption of Zn(II) in Water

Science and Technology Innovation Center for Municipal Wastewater Treatment and Water Quality Protection, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130017, China
Guangdong Shouhui Lantian Engineering and Technology Corporation, Guangzhou 510075, China
Jilin Provincial Key Laboratory of Municipal Wastewater Treatment, Changchun Institute of Technology, Changchun 130021, China
School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(8), 1519;
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 12 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced or Conventional Materials as Sorbent)
PDF [3472 KB, uploaded 12 April 2019]


Red mud, a Fe-rich waste generated from the aluminum industry, was recovered as an adsorbent for wastewater treatment. The separation process of red mud from water after adsorption, including centrifugation and filtration, was complicated. This study demonstrated an alternative option to recycle red mud for preparing magnetic adsorbent via a facile hydrothermal route using ascorbic acid as reductant. Red mud is weakly magnetized and consists of andradite, muscovite, hematite, and cancrinite. After hydrothermal treatment, andradite in red mud was reductively dissolved by ascorbic acid, and transformed into magnetite and morimotoite. With increasing hydrothermal temperature, the dissolution of andradite accelerated, and the crystallite size of magnetite increased. When the hydrothermal temperature reached 200 °C, the prepared adsorbent P-200 showed a desirable saturation magnetization of 4.1 Am2/kg, and could be easily magnetically separated from water after adsorption. The maximum adsorption capacity of P-200 for Zn2+ was 89.6 mg/g, which is eight-fold higher than that of the raw red mud. The adsorption of Zn2+ by P-200 fitted the Langmuir model, where cation exchange was the main adsorption mechanism. The average distribution coefficient of Zn2+ at low ppm level was 16.81 L/g for P-200, higher than those of the red mud (0.3 L/g) and the prepared P-120 (1.48 L/g) and P-270 (5.48 L/g), demonstrating that P-200 had the best adsorption capacity for Zn2+ and can be served as a practical adsorbent for real-world applications. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report the conversion of red mud into a magnetic adsorbent under mild conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: red mud; hydrothermal; magnetic adsorbent; heavy metal ions; wastewater treatment red mud; hydrothermal; magnetic adsorbent; heavy metal ions; wastewater treatment

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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Dong, W.; Liang, K.; Qin, Y.; Ma, H.; Zhao, X.; Zhang, L.; Zhu, S.; Yu, Y.; Bian, D.; Yang, J. Hydrothermal Conversion of Red Mud into Magnetic Adsorbent for Effective Adsorption of Zn(II) in Water. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 1519.

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