The contamination of water bodies by heavy metals is one of the main concerns for environmental protection, due to the intrinsic toxicity and long lifetime of these compounds. Consequently, there is a pressing need to reduce emissions of heavy metals in wastewater, using efficient and cost-effective remediation techniques, which at the same time will not produce toxic residues, e.g. adsorption on activated carbon. The present work deals with the optimal design and operation of adsorption columns for the removal of cadmium and nickel from synthetic aqueous solutions, both in single-compound and binary systems. Thermodynamic experimental tests were carried out on activated carbon samples (GAC), produced starting from a commercial carbon by chemical oxidation with either nitric acid or hydrogen peroxide, to support the dynamic study and to identify the sample with higher adsorption capacity. Subsequently, the dynamic behavior of Cd and Ni adsorption was studied by means of software simulations in order to attain an optimized column design. Several working configurations were explored, investigating the effects of GAC physical and chemical properties, pollutant concentration and flow rate, for a wide application in process operations. Moreover, the intertwining between thermodynamic and dynamic parameters in the performance of a fixed-bed was highlighted. All the transport phenomena that can affect the overall performance, i.e. axial dispersion, external film diffusion and intraparticle mass transport were considered. In particular, for the internal transport, both pore and surface diffusions were taken into account and considered to occur in parallel; moreover the contribution of pollutant surface diffusivity, which is usually neglected in the commonly adopted model because difficult to estimate, was isolated and its influence on the overall adsorption rate was elucidated. The general formulation of the kinetic model allowed estimating the contribution of each adsorption rate controlling parameter and the effect exerted by the main fluid dynamic parameters, hence representing a fundamental tool for the design and optimization of an adsorption column. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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|Titolo:||A rigorous procedure for the design of adsorption units for the removal of cadmium and nickel from process wastewaters|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2014|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 - Articolo su rivista|