Species formed on iron surface during removal of copper ions from aqueous solutions
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Silesian University of Technology
Institute of Physics, University of Silesia, Uniwersytecka 4, 40-007 Katowice, Poland
Tomasz Józef Suponik   

Silesian University of Technology, Akademicka 2, 44-100 Gliwice, Poland
Publication date: 2015-03-31
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2015;51(2):731–743
The subject of the research covered in this paper is the removal of copper cations (Cu2+) from water at low pHs (initial value of pH=3 and 6) by means of zero-valent iron. The chemical states and atomic concentrations of solids formed on the surface of zero-valent iron, and the type of deposited polycrystalline substances have been analysed with the use of XPS and XRD, respectively. Based on the above, the type of process causing the copper removal from water at low pH, corresponding to the effect of acid mine drainage, has been identified by analyzing the changes of physicochemical parameters and specified chemicals content in water. Cu2+ was removed from the water with the initial pH of 6 much more effectively than in lower pH. The formation of CuxFe3-xO4 and – to a lesser degree – Cu2O, Cu0 and/or CuO and/or Cu2S, were the basic processes in the removal of copper in almost neutral pH of the water (pH ca. 6), while the formation of copper in metallic form and Cu2O, as well as probably CuO, were the basic processes for lower pHs (pH ca. 3). The adsorption of Cu2+ on the surface of shells was an additional process causing the removal of copper from water at almost neutral pH.