Optimisation of the removal conditions for heavy metals from water: A comparison between steel furnace slag and CeO2 nanoparticles

B. M. Mercado-Borrayo, Rebeca Contreras, Antoni Sánchez, Xavier Font, R. Schouwenaars, R. M. Ramírez-Zamora*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This work studies an innovative approach to water treatment by using recycled electric induction furnace slag for the removal of Cd, Cr and Pb-ions and comparing the results to a treatment with specifically developed CeO2 nanoparticles. The slag was characterised by X-ray Fluorescence, X-ray diffraction and SEM. The effects of initial ion concentration and adsorbent dose were investigated according to an experimental design. Adsorption tests were carried out with ion solutions present in concentrations ranging from 1 to 10 mg/L and adsorbent doses from 0.064 to 0.64 g/L. The removal mechanism for CeO2 is adsorption. For slag, literature proposes a mechanism involving chemical adsorption of Cd2+, Cr6+ and Pb2+ by silanol and aluminol groups; precipitation in the form of metal silicates formed between the cations and silicic acid leached from the slag provides an alternative explanation. The removal efficiencies with nanoparticles are higher than reported for any other adsorbent (including slag) under all test combinations for the three metals investigated. The maximum removal efficiency with slag was 74% for Cr6+, 64% for Cd2+ and 34% for Pb2+, comparable to, or higher than, other materials reported in literature. The treatment with slag has clear promises in terms of economy and scalability. (C) 2018 Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of King Saud University.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1712-1719
Number of pages8
JournalArabian Journal of Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • CeO
  • Electric induction furnace slag
  • Heavy metals
  • Nanoparticles
  • Waste valorisation
  • Water treatment
  • IONS
  • CeO2
  • LEAD


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