A study on heavy metal contaminated slurries using reactive soil mineral and cellulosic absorbents

Prabesh Rupakheti, Shobha K Bhatia, Nuzhath Fatema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


The aim of this study is to investigate low cost, easily available, and sustainable solutions to remove heavy metal ions from the effluent from geotextile tubes and wastewater. Three soils and three cellulosic materials have been used to study their effectiveness in adsorbing as well as retaining heavy metal ions when mixed in contaminated aqueous solutions. The effect of different particle sizes, physical and chemical properties of soils in adsorption has been studied by performing a batch adsorption test in 15% concentration (sediment: heavy metal solution) slurry. Similarly, batch adsorption tests were also conducted on cellulosic materials (peanut hulls, jute fibers, kraft pulp) mixed with heavy metal solution. The studied heavy metal ions are lead (Pb), copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd), and zinc (Zn). The samples collected from batch adsorption tests were tested for heavy metal ions using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). It was observed that the removal efficiency for all heavy metals was higher with tully soils compared to kaolinite. In case cellulose adsorbents, one correlation could be established between the dosage of jute fibers and amount of Pb adsorbed. However, the adsorption of Pb from the solution into peanut hulls and kraft pulp increased linearly with their dosage. Kraft pulp had the highest adsorption capacity of Cu and Cd compared to other cellulose adsorbents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-467
Number of pages9
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue numberGSP 276
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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