Use of thermally modified waste concrete powder for removal of Pb (II) from wastewater: Effects and mechanism

Zihan Ma, Runze Xue, Jiang shan Li, Yaqin Zhao, Qiang Xue, Zhen Chen, Qiming Wang, Chi Sun Poon

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Exploring effective uses of waste concrete powder (WCP), produced from recycling of construction & demolition waste is beneficial to the environment and sustainable development. In this study, WCP was first treated thermally to enhance the ability to remove Pb (II) from aqueous solutions. The experimental results revealed that the thermal treatment could enhance adsorption capacity due to modification of calcium bonding and pore structure of WCP. Preparation parameters such as temperature, particle size, and water-cement ratio were investigated to obtain the optimal operational conditions. Batch adsorption experiments were performed to explore influence factors of pH (1.00–6.00), ionic strength (0.05–2 mol/L), dosage (2–50 g/L), and temperature (25–45 °C). The pseudo-second-order kinetics model could adequately describe the adsorption process, and the Langmuir model was capable to predict the isotherm data well in the low concentration region (C0 < 500 mg/L). The maximum uptake capacity for Pb (II) calculated by Langmuir model at 25, 35 and 45 °C were 46.02, 38.58 and 30.01 mg/g respectively, and the removal rate of Pb (II) was 92.96% at a dosage of 50 g/L (C0 = 1000 mg/L). Precipitation, ion exchange, and surface complexation were identified to be the main mechanisms of Pb (II) adsorption through microscopic investigation by SEM-EDX, XRD, FTIR, XPS, and BET inspections. The study confirms that the WCP after thermal modification, can be selected as a promising adsorbent for the high performance and eco-friendliness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116776
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2021


  • Adsorption
  • Lead
  • Modification
  • Waste concrete powder (WCP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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