Screening hydroxyapatite for cadmium and lead immobilization in aqueous solution and contaminated soil: The role of surface area

Hongying Li , Xisheng Guo , Xinxin Ye


Received January 25, 2016,Revised March 31, 2016, Accepted April 05, 2016, Available online May 02, 2016

Volume 29,2017,Pages 141-150

Hydroxyapatite (HAP) has been widely used to immobilize many cationic metals in water and soils. The specific reason why an increase in the surface area of HAP enhances cadmium (Cd) uptake, but has no effect on lead (Pb) uptake, is not clear. The aim of this study was to determine the factors causing the differences in sorption behavior between Cd and Pb by evaluating HAPs with different surface areas. We synthesized HAPs with two different surface areas, which were characterized by X-ray diffraction, N2 adsorption, and scanning electron microscopy, and then evaluated them as sorbents for Cd and Pb removal by testing in single and binary systems. The sorption capacity of large surface area HAP (1.85 mmol/g) for Cd in the single-metal system was higher than that of small surface area HAP (0.64 mmol/g), but there were no differences between single- and binary-metal solutions containing Pb. After the Cd experiments, the HAP retained a stable structure and intact morphology, which promotes the accessibility of reactive sites for Cd. However, a newly formed precipitate covered the surface and blocked the channels in the presence of Pb, which reduced the number of potential adsorption sites on HAP for Cd and Pb. Remediation experiments using Cd- and Pb-contaminated soil produced similar results to the solution tests. These results indicate that alterations of the structure and morphology during the reaction is an important factor influencing metal sorption to HAP.

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