The goal of this study was to compare the performances of strong base anion (SBA) exchange and activated carbon adsorption in the removal of hexavalent chromium, Cr(VI), from a real groundwater matrix exploited for drinking purposes. Two SBA resins and three granular activated carbons (GAC) were tested by batch experiments for kinetics and equilibrium isotherm determination. SBA resins showed higher affinity toward Cr(VI) (present in raw water at about 20 μg L−1) with respect to the GACs, with faster kinetics and higher equilibrium adsorption capacities. Among GACs, vegetal-based carbons showed higher Cr(VI) removal efficiencies than the mineral-based carbon, which can be related to the more developed textural properties. SBA resins also displayed relevant removal capacities towards nitrate and sulfate (present at mg L−1 concentration levels), while boron (present at about 60 μg L−1) was effectively removed by GACs. Batch experiment results were elaborated to estimate the chromium throughputs for the studied materials, to preliminary compare their performances in a real-scale application. The monitoring of a real-scale GAC adsorption stage permitted to validate throughputs estimation and confirmed that, despite being effective toward synthetic organics, GAC adsorption is a not feasible solution for Cr(VI) removal, with extremely early breakthrough. SBA exchange process resulted to be the most suitable solution, providing the best sorbent usage rates. However, SBA resin usage rates can strongly increase when considering the removal of nitrate and sulfate ions, requiring much shorter cycle times.
Water, Air, & Soil Pollution – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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