Pre-concentration and separation of heavy metal ions by chemically modified waste paper gel.
ABSTRACT Iminodiacetic acid was immobilized on waste paper by chemical modification in order to develop a new type of adsorption gel for heavy metal ions. Adsorption behavior of the gel was investigated for a number of metal ions, specifically Cu(II), Pb(II), Fe(III), Ni(II), Cd(II), and Co(II) at acidic pH. From batch adsorption tests, the order of selectivity was found to be as follows: Cu(II)>Fe(III)>Pb(II)>Ni(II)>Co(II)>Cd(II). Column tests were carried out for pairs of metal ions to understand the separation and pre-concentration behavior of the gel. It was found that mutual separation of Ni(II) from Co(II) and that of Pb(II) from Cd(II) can be achieved at pH 3. Similarly, selective separation of Cu(II) from Cu(II)-Fe(III) and Cu(II)-Pb(II) mixtures at pH 1.5 and 2, respectively, was observed by using this new adsorption gel. In all cases, almost complete recovery of the adsorbed metal was confirmed by elution tests with HCl.