Antimony leaching release from brake pads: Effect of pH, temperature and organic acids

Xingyun Hu , Mengchang He , Sisi Li


Received August 22, 2014,Revised August 26, 2014, Accepted , Available online March 13, 2015

Volume 27,2015,Pages 11-17

Metals from automotive brake pads pollute water, soils and the ambient air. The environmental effect on water of antimony (Sb) contained in brake pads has been largely untested. The content of Sb in one abandoned brake pad reached up to 1.62 × 104 mg/kg. Effects of initial pH, temperature and four organic acids (acetic acid, oxalic acid, citric acid and humic acid) on Sb release from brake pads were studied using batch reactors. Approximately 30% (97 mg/L) of the total Sb contained in the brake pads was released in alkaline aqueous solution and at higher temperature after 30 days of leaching. The organic acids tested restrained Sb release, especially acetic acid and oxalic acid. The pH-dependent concentration change of Sb in aqueous solution was best fitted by a logarithmic function. In addition, Sb contained in topsoil from land where brake pads were discarded (average 9 × 103 mg/kg) was 3000 times that in uncontaminated soils (2.7 ± 1 mg/kg) in the same areas. Because potentially high amounts of Sb may be released from brake pads, it is important that producers and environmental authorities take precautions.

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