Removing heavy metals using permeable pavement system with a titanate nano-fibrous adsorbent column as a post treatment

Chemosphere. 2017 Feb;168:467-473. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.11.045. Epub 2016 Nov 14.


Permeable pavement systems (PPS) are a widely-used treatment measure in sustainable stormwater management and groundwater recharge. However, PPS are not very efficient in removing heavy metals from stormwater. A pilot scale study using zeolite or basalt as bed material in PPS removed 41-72%, 67-74%, 38-43%, 61-72%, 63-73% of Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn, respectively, from synthetic stormwater (pH 6.5; Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn concentrations of 0.04, 0.6, 0.06, 1.0, and 2.0 mg L-1, respectively) over a period of 80 h. The total volume of stormwater that passed through the PPS was equivalent to runoff in 10 years of rainfall in Sydney, Australia. The concentrations of metals in the PPS effluent failed fresh and marine water quality trigger values recommended in the Australian and New Zealand guidelines. An addition of a post-treatment of a horizontal filter column containing a titanate nano-fibrous (TNF) material with a weight < 1% of zeolite weight and mixed in with granular activated carbon (GAC) at a GAC:TNF weight ratio of 25:1 removed 77% of Ni and 99-100% of all the other metals. The effluent easily met the required standards of marine waters and just met those concerning fresh waters. Batch adsorption data from solutions of metals mixtures fitted the Langmuir model with adsorption capacities in the following order, TNF ≫ zeolite > basalt; Pb > Cu > Cd, Ni, Zn.

Keywords: Adsorption; Heavy metals; Permeable pavement systems; Titanate nano-fibrous adsorbent; Zeolite.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Construction Materials / analysis
  • Metals, Heavy / analysis*
  • Nanofibers / analysis*
  • New South Wales
  • Pilot Projects
  • Titanium / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*
  • Water Purification / instrumentation
  • Water Purification / methods*
  • Zeolites / chemistry


  • Metals, Heavy
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Zeolites
  • Titanium