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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2019, Vol. 13 Issue (2) : 16
Effective removal of Cd2+ and Pb2+ pollutants from wastewater by dielectrophoresis-assisted adsorption
Qinghao Jin1,2, Chenyang Cui1,2, Huiying Chen1,2(), Jing Wu1,2, Jing Hu1,2, Xuan Xing1,2, Junfeng Geng3, Yanhong Wu1,2()
1. College of Life and Environmental Science, Minzu University of China, Beijing 100081, China
2. Beijing Engineering Research Center of Food Environment and Public Health, Minzu University of China, Beijing 100081, China
3. Institute for Materials Research and Innovation, Institute for Renewable Energy and Environmental Technologies, University of Bolton, BL3 5AB Bolton, UK
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Dielectrophoresis (DEP) process could enhance the removal the Cd2+ and Pb2+ with less absorbent.

The removal rates of both Cd2+ and Pb2+ increased with the increase of voltage.

The overall removal rate of Cd2+ and Pb2+ in the binary system is higher than that of Cd2+ or Pb2+ in the single system.

DEP could cause considerable changes of the bentonite particles in both surface morphology and microstructure.

Dielectrophoresis (DEP) was combined with adsorption (ADS) to simultaneously and effectively remove Cd2+ and Pb2+ species from aqueous solution. To implement the process, bentonite particles of submicro-meter size were used to first adsorb the heavy metal ions. These particles were subsequently trapped and removed by DEP. The effects of the adsorbent dosage, DEP cell voltage and the capture pool numbers on the removal rate were investigated in batch processes, which allowed us to determine the optimal experimental conditions. The high removal efficiency, 97.3% and 99.9% for Cd2+ and Pb2+, respectively, were achieved when the ions are coexisting in the system. The microstructure of bentonite particles before and after ADS/DEP was examined by scanning electron microscopy. Our results suggest that the dielectrophoresis-assisted adsorption method has a high capability to remove the heavy metals from wastewater.

Keywords Adsorption      Dielectrophoresis      Heavy metals      Cadmium      Lead      Wastewater     
Corresponding Author(s): Huiying Chen,Yanhong Wu   
Issue Date: 14 January 2019
 Cite this article:   
Qinghao Jin,Chenyang Cui,Huiying Chen, et al. Effective removal of Cd2+ and Pb2+ pollutants from wastewater by dielectrophoresis-assisted adsorption[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2019, 13(2): 16.
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Qinghao Jin
Chenyang Cui
Huiying Chen
Jing Wu
Jing Hu
Xuan Xing
Junfeng Geng
Yanhong Wu
Fig.1  A schematic diagram shows that two different metal ions, Cd2+ and Pb2+, can be first adsorbed and then removed by a DEP-assisted adsorption process.
Fig.2  The device layout used in the experiments and the electrodes arrangement.
Fig.3  Change of the removal efficiency of Cd2+ (a), and Pb2+ (b), with the absorbent dosage in either ADS only or the combined DEP/ADS processes.
Fig.4  Effect of voltage on the removal efficiency of Cd2+ and Pb2+. [Cd2+] = 200 mg/L, absorbent dosage 0.8 g/L; [Pb2+] = 200 mg/L, absorbent dosage 0.5g /L.
Fig.5  Effect of the DEP pool numbers on the removal efficiency of Cd2+ and Pb2+ in single and binary systems. (a) [Cd2+] = 200 mg/L, 1.2 g/L adsorbent, 20 V; [Pb2+]=200 mg/L, 0.5 g/L adsorbent, 18 V. (b) [Cd2+ ] = 200 mg/L, 1.0 g/L adsorbent, 20 V; [Pb2+ ] = 200 mg/L, 1.0 g/L adsorbent, 18 V; [Pb2+ ] = 200 mg/L, 1.0 g/L adsorbent, 20 V.
Fig.6  SEM images of the bentonite particles before and after adsorption of Cd2+ or Pb2+ and the ADS/DEP treatment.
Heavy metal element Before
ADS/DEP (binary system)
Cd2+ (%) 0 6.88 60.92 28.72
Pb2+ (%) 0 10.23 44.89 49.35
Tab.1  Weight percentage of heavy metal elements on the surface of bentonite particles
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