Document Type


Publication Date



water treatment residuals, adsorption, heavy metals, sediment, surface water, remediation, iron (hydr)oxides


Inherently formed iron-based water treatment residuals (WTRs) were tested as alternative sorbents for multi-heavy metal removal from synthetic solutions, contaminated sediments, and surface waters. The WTRs were mainly composed of iron (hydr)oxides and had a high BET surface area (170.7 m2/g), due to the presence of micro- and mesopores. The sorption capacity of WTRs for As(V), Cd2+, Pb2+ and Zn2+ from synthetic solutions surpassed that of a commercially available goethite by 100-400% for single contaminant tests, and by 240% for total sorption in multi contaminant tests. The maximum sorption capacity of WTRs towards As(V), Pb2+ and Zn2+ was estimated by Langmuir equation fitting to range between 0.5 to 0.6 mmol/g, and their maximum sorption capacity for Cd was 0.19 mmol/g. WTRs performed significantly better than goethite for adsorption of cationic contaminants (Cd, Co, Ni, Pb, Zn) in the sediment tests, independent of the dosage or sediment sample. At the highest WTRs dosage (250 mg/g), concentrations of the cationic contaminants decreased by at least 80%, while approximately 40% removal was obtained with 50 mg/g dosage. Sorbent mixtures composed of WTRs with goethite, and with a clinoptilolite natural zeolite were used to reduce As leaching. The sorbent mixtures delivered the desired performance, with the natural zeolite performing better than the goethite as an amendment to WTRs. In addition, up to 90% removal of surface water contaminants was achieved with both fresh WTRs and the WTRs regenerated using 0.01 M EDTA.


9 November 2016: At the time of publication, Sheridan College author Rafael M. Santos was associated with the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium.


Faculty of Applied Science & Technology


School of Chemical and Environmental Sciences


Chemical Engineering Journal



Peer Reviewed/Refereed Publication


Terms of Use

Terms of Use for Works posted in SOURCE.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Original Publication Citation

Chiang, Y. W., Ghyselbrecht, K., Santos, R. M., Martens, J. A., Swennen, R., Cappuyns, V., & Meesschaert, B. (2012). Adsorption of multi-heavy metals onto water treatment residuals: sorption capacities and applications. Chemical Engineering Journal, 200-202, 405-415. doi:10.1016/j.cej.2012.06.070