In recent years adsorption has gained popularity for treating groundwater contaminated with trace elements. A lot of low-cost adsorbents from agricultural waste, industrial by-products and natural and modified materials are being created and applied to contaminated water. However, seldom spent sorbent is safely handled afterwards and often end up in landfill, thus creating new problems and posing new risks to humans and environment.
The project aims at developing a complete process for sustainable management of a residue-based sorbent for trace element removal from groundwater. Due to its affinity for arsenates, iron oxides are proposed as an effective and potentially inexpensive adsorbent to treat water contaminated with anionic pollutants (e.g. arsenic, chromium).
Therefore, combining the two sorbents could open possibilities to obtain a versatile sorbent targeting a broader spectrum of contaminants within the same environmental conditions.
Furthermore, utilizing peat as a by-product emerging from wide-spread industrial process, and iron-rich by-products obtained from metallurgic industry, would also contribute reducing the volume of waste materials to be treated.