Humic Acid Removal from Water by Iron-coated Sand: A Column Experiment

  • Kim, Hyon-Chong (Environmental Biocolloid Engineering Laboratory, Department of Rural Systems Engineering, Seoul National University) ;
  • Park, Seong-Jik (Environmental Biocolloid Engineering Laboratory, Department of Rural Systems Engineering, Seoul National University) ;
  • Lee, Chang-Gu (Environmental Biocolloid Engineering Laboratory, Department of Rural Systems Engineering, Seoul National University) ;
  • Han, Yong-Un (Environmental Biocolloid Engineering Laboratory, Department of Rural Systems Engineering, Seoul National University) ;
  • Park, Jeong-Ann (Environmental Biocolloid Engineering Laboratory, Department of Rural Systems Engineering, Seoul National University) ;
  • Kim, Song-Bae (Environmental Biocolloid Engineering Laboratory, Department of Rural Systems Engineering, Seoul National University)
  • Published : 2009.03.31


Column experiments were performed in this study to investigate humic acid adhesion to iron oxide-coated sand (ICS) under different experimental conditions including influent humic acid concentration, flow rate, solution pH, and ionic strength/composition. Breakthrough curves of humic acid were obtained by monitoring effluents, and then column capacity for humic acid adsorption ($C_cap$), total adsorption percent (R), and mass of humic acid adsorbed per unit mass of filter media ($q_a$) were quantified from these curves. Results showed that humic acid adhesion was about seven times higher in ICS than in quartz sand at given experimental conditions. This indicates that humic acid removal can be enhanced through the surface charge modification of quartz sand with iron oxide coating. The adhesion of humic acid in ICS was influenced by influent humic acid concentration. $C_cap$ and $q_a$ increased while R decreased with increasing influent humic acid concentration in ICS column. However, the influence of flow rate was not eminent in our experimental conditions. The humic acid adhesion was enhanced with increasing salt concentration of solution. $C_cap$, $q_a$ and R increased in ICS column with increasing salt concentration. On the adhesion of humic acid, the impact of CaCl2 was greater than that of NaCl. Also, the humic acid adhesion to ICS decreased with increasing solution pH. $C_cap$, $q_a$ and R decreased with increasing solution pH. This study demonstrates that humic acid concentration, salt concentration/composition, and solution pH should be controlled carefully in order to improve the ICS column performance for humic acid removal from water.


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