Enhanced adsorption of arsenic onto alum sludge modified by calcination

Eun Ki Jeon, Sori Ryu, Sung Woo Park, Lei Wang, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Kitae Baek

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

107 Citations (Scopus)


Alum sludge from water treatment facilities is composed mainly of aluminum hydroxide or aluminum oxide, which can adsorb As(V). However, microorganisms and organic/inorganic matter agglomerated together with raw alum sludge inhibit the adsorption of As(V) onto the material. Calcination was used to remove organic matter and activate the material, and the physical properties and adsorption characteristics were evaluated by using field-emission scanning electron microscopy, elemental analysis, X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared, zeta potential, and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller surface analysis. At a higher calcination temperature, a larger proportion of organic matter was removed and the adsorption capacity for As(V) was 5.4–8.7 times greater than that of the raw adsorbent. However, calcination at 500 °C changed the structure of aluminum oxide into a crystallized form, reduced the surface area, and the adsorption capacity for As(V) decreased. In comparison, calcination at 300 °C removed organic matter efficiently without changing the structure of the adsorbent, and showed greater adsorption capacity for As(V). The results suggested that calcination is a suitable process for producing alum sludge-based adsorbent for As(V) removal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-62
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Alum sludge
  • Arsenic adsorption
  • Calcination
  • Organic matter
  • Oxide crystallization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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