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Heuss-Aßbichler, Soraya; John, Melanie; Klapper, Daniel; Bläß, Ulrich W.; Kochetov, Gennadii (2016): Recovery of copper as zero-valent phase and/or copper oxide nanoparticles from wastewater by ferritization. In: Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 181: pp. 1-7
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Recently the focus of interest changed from merely purification of the waste water to recover heavy metals. With the slightly modified ferritization process presented here it is possible to decrease initial Cu2+ concentrations up to 10 g/l to values <0.3 mg/l. The recovery rates of copper of all experiments are in the rage of 99.98 to almost 100%. Copper can be precipitated as oxide or zero valent metal (almost) free of hydroxide. All precipitates are exclusively of nanoparticle size. The phase assemblage depends strongly on experimental conditions as e.g. reaction temperature, pH-value, initial concentration and ageing time and condition. Three different options were developed depending on the reaction conditions. Option 1.) copper incorporation into the ferrite structure ((Cu,Fe)Fe2O4) and/or precipitation as cuprite (Cu2O) and zero-valent copper, option 2.) copper incorporation into the ferrite structure and/or precipitation as cuprite and/or tenorite (CuO) and option 3.) copper precipitation as tenorite. Ferrite is formed by the oxidation of GR in alkaline solution without additional oxygen supply. The chemistry reaches from pure magnetite up to 45% copper ferrite component. First experiments with wastewater from electroplating industry confirm the results obtained from synthetic solutions. In all cases the volume of the precipitates is extremely low compared to typical wastewater treatment by hydroxide precipitation. Therefore, pollution and further dissipation of copper can be avoided using this simple and economic process. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.