Removal of Pb from Water: The Effectiveness of Gypsum and Calcite Mixtures



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Roza Llera, Ana and Jimenez, Amalia and Fernández Díaz, Lurdes (2021) Removal of Pb from Water: The Effectiveness of Gypsum and Calcite Mixtures. Minerals, 11 (66). ISSN 2075-163X

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Anthropogenic lead pollution is an environmental problem that threatens the quality of soils and waters and endangers living organisms in numerous surface and subsurface habitats. Lead coprecipitation on mineral surfaces through dissolution-recrystallization processes has long-term effects on lead bioavailability. Gypsum and calcite are among the most abundant and reactive rock forming minerals present in numerous geological settings. In this work, we studied the interaction of slightly acidic (pHi = 5.5) Pb-bearing aqueous solutions ([Pb]i = 1 and 10 mM) with crystals of gypsum and/or calcite under atmospheric conditions. This interaction resulted in a reduction of the concentration of lead in the liquid phase due to the precipitation of newly formed Pb-bearing solid phases. The extent of this Pb removal mainly depended on the nature of the primary mineral phase involved in the interaction. Thus, when gypsum was the only solid phase initially present in the system, the Pb-bearing liquid-gypsum interaction resulted in Pb removals in the 98–99.8% range, regardless of [Pb]i. In contrast, when the interaction took place with calcite, Pb removal strongly depended on [Pb]i. It reached 99% when [Pb]i = 1 mM, while it was much more modest (~13%) when [Pb]i = 10 mM. Interestingly, Pb-removal was maximized for both [Pb]i (99.9% for solutions with [Pb]i = 10 mM and 99.7% for solutions with [Pb]i = 1 mM) when Pb-polluted solutions simultaneously interacted with gypsum and calcite crystals. Despite the large Pb removals found in most of the cases studied, the final Pb concentration ([Pb]f) in the liquid phase was always well above the maximum permitted in drinking water (0.01 ppm), with the minimum ([Pb]f = 0.7 ppm) being obtained for solutions with [Pb]i = 1 mM after their interaction with mixtures of gypsum and calcite crystals. This result suggests that integrating the use of mixtures of gypsum-calcite crystals might help to develop more efficient strategies for in-situ decontaminating Pb-polluted waters through mineral coprecipitation processes.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:lead, removal, calcite, gypsum, coprecipitation
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Geochemistry
Sciences > Geology > Mineralogy
ID Code:63962
Deposited On:12 Feb 2021 17:05
Last Modified:07 Apr 2021 10:08

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