Chromatographic columns packed with paper mill sludge are employed for metal ion recovery from water. The breakthrough curves show that cadmium, copper, lead and silver are removed from acid solutions (pH 2, 4); the affinity series is Pb(II) > Cu(II) > Ag(I) > Cd(II). Both the amount of metal retained and the metal-matrix interaction are pH dependent; the sorptive capacity increases with increasing pH. When the metals are present together at the same initial concentrations a competition among the different ions occurs although the affinity order remains unchanged. In metal recovery from the paper mill sludge column, the total amount of the cadmium and copper is displaced by HCl 1.0 M, 65% of the lead by HCl 0.1 M and 75% of the silver by HNO30.1 M. More than 95% of copper and lead and less than 20% of cadmium were recovered with HCl 0.1 M when the metals were present at the same time. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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