Iron-Based Water Treatment Residuals: Phase, Physicochemical Characterization, and Textural Properties

Materials (Basel). 2021 Jul 14;14(14):3938. doi: 10.3390/ma14143938.


Groundwater treatment residuals (GWTRs) are safe waste materials generated during drinking water treatment. GWTRs are mainly deposited in landfills, but the preferred solution should be reused or utilized for some components. To ensure proper sludge management, it is important to provide quality, chemical composition, and texture characteristics of GWTRs. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to investigate and compare the features of GWTRs collected from four water treatment plants. GWTRs were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD); scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersion spectroscopy (EDS); Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR); thermogravimetric, differential thermogravimetric, and differential thermal analysis (TG, DTG, and DTA, respectively); X-ray fluorescence (XRF); inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OEP); specific surface area (SBET) measurement; and determination of the isoelectric point (pHIEP). According to the results, GWTRs are poor crystalline materials that are predominantly composed of ferrihydrite with minor calcite and quartz admixture. They formed heterogeneously mixed particles with irregular shapes. They were mainly composed of iron oxides (32-55%), silica (4-28%), calcium oxide (4-17%), and manganese oxides (0.3-4.0%). They were found to be mesoporous with a large specific surface area. Due to their composition and texture characteristics, GWTRs demonstrate good adsorption properties toward different compounds such as heavy metals and metalloids.

Keywords: WTRs; solid characterization; water treatment sludges.