Separation and Nuclear Chemical Engineering Research (SNUCER), Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sir Robert Hadfield Building, Sheffield, S1 3JD, United Kingdom. Electronic address: [Email]
A shortage of phosphate rock resources has led to a focus on the use of sewage sludge as a fertiliser. One factor preventing the unlimited application of sewage sludge in agriculture is the heavy metal content. This work looks at a process where weak acid leaching of sewage sludge would be coupled to ion exchange (IX) for heavy metal ion removal. IX offers an effective method for the recovery of these metals from a leachate. This study presents the pH performance of six selected IX resins in extracting Cu2+, Fe2+, Pb2+ and Zn2+ from acetic, lactic and citric acid media simulated weak acid leachate. Acetic acid media displayed limited suppression of metal extraction, whilst lactic and citric acid media rendered MTS9100 ineffective. Lactic acid media when combined with C107E resin allows for the targeted extraction of lead. Both MTS9570 and MTS9501 display high ferrous extraction in all media at all pH values, although citric acid hinders extraction by both resins at higher pH values. TP214 is selective for copper over all other metal ions in all weak acid media. MTS9301 is the most effective at extracting all metals from all media solutions, with separation of copper becoming more apparent when transitioning to citric acid.