Environmental catalysis and materials

Mercury removal using ground and calcined mussel shell

Susana Peña-Rodríguez , Alipio Bermúdez-Couso , Juan Carlos Nóvoa-Muñoz , Manuel Arias-Estévez , María J. Fernández-Sanjurjo , Esperanza Álvarez-Rodríguez , Avelino Núñez-Delgado


Received February 08, 2013,Revised March 28, 2013, Accepted , Available online November 29, 2013

Volume ,2013,Pages 2476-2486

We determined mercury retention on calcined and ground mussel shell, in presence and absence of phosphate, using batch and stirred flow chamber experiments. In batch experiments the calcined shell exhibited higher Hg adsorption, with good fitting to Freundlich equation (R2: 0.925-0.978); the presence of phosphate increased Hg adsorption; mercury desorption was 13% or lower, diminishing up to 2% under the presence of phosphates. In stirred flow chamber experiments calcined shell retained more Hg than ground shells (6300 vs. 4000-5200 μmol/kg); Hg retention increased an additional 40% on calcined shell and up to an additional 70% on ground shells when phosphates were present; mercury desorption was quite similar in all shell types (20%-34%), increasing up to 49%-60% in ground shells when phosphates were present. The higher Hg adsorption on calcined shell would be related to its calcite and dolomite concentrations; mercury-phosphate interactions would cause the increase in Hg retention when phosphates are present. Data on Hg desorption suggest that Hg retention was not easily reversible after batch experiments, increasing in the stirred flow chamber due to convective flow. Calcined and ground mussel shells could be recycled removing Hg from water, with the presence of phosphates in solution improving efficacy.

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