The effectiveness of steel foundry by-product in the treatment of stormwater
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The capacity and efficiency of melter slag (provided by New Zealand Steel) to remove heavy metals and suspended solids from stormwater samples are studied in this thesis. A series of batch tests were carried out to investigate the adsorption-desorption mechanism of the slag to remove heavy metals (Cd2+, Zn2+ and Cu2+) from working solutions. The results showed that all the tested metallic ions could be removed by mixing the melter slag with the working solutions. Adsorption and ion exchange are the dominant mechanisms in this process. The adsorption capacity follows the descending order of Cu2+ > Zn2+ = Cd2+. Varied binding energy of different metallic ions to the slag resulted in competitive adsorption between ions.A variety of substances: inorganic salts (KCl, NaCl, KNO3 and sea water), organic acids (citric and tartaric) and inorganic acids (nitric and carbonic), were tested as desorbing agents to recover the used slag. Citric acid in sea water was found to be the best in terms of desorption efficiency and cost-effectiveness.The column tests were carried out to simulate the filtration bed in laboratory conditions. Stormwater samples were collected from residential and commercial areas in Auckland. The synthetic stormwater samples were prepared from clay and metallic ion solution. Both samples were used as feeding solutions in the tests. The removal efficiencies of suspended solids and metallic ions (Zn2+, Cd2+ and Cu2+) vary depending on different operation conditions. They are in inverse proportion to the grain size of the melter slag and the influent flow rate. The higher removal efficiency of Zn2+ than that of suspended solids infers that metallic ions are removed by both precipitation and adsorption.