There are new ways to treat waste cadmium pollution water bodies and soil remediation with “waste”

Wu Zhengyan, a researcher at the Institute of Intelligent Machinery of the Hefei Academy of Physical Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (hereinafter referred to as the Institute of Intelligent Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences), and Zhang Jia, an associate researcher, cooperated with Professor Cai Dongqing of Donghua University to prepare iron-based carbon microspheres using tobacco waste liquid and waste iron slag as raw materials, which provided a method for the remediation of cadmium-contaminated water bodies and soil, and also provided a new way for the resource utilization of the two wastes. The results were published in Langmuir, the journal of the American Chemical Society.

The preparation process of iron-based carbon microspheres and the mechanism of their removal of cadmium Cd(II) .png

Preparation process of iron-based carbon microspheres and mechanism diagram of its removal of cadmium Cd(II) Courtesy of the Institute of Intelligence of Hefei Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences

In recent years, with the rapid development of metallurgy, electroplating, pigments, mining, batteries and other industries, cadmium pollution has become increasingly serious. Cadmium, on the other hand, is a highly toxic heavy metal that is usually present in aqueous solutions in the form of divalent cadmium.

“Cadmium migrates easily in water and soil, accumulates in living organisms, and eventually transfers to the human body through the food chain, leading to serious diseases. Long-term exposure to cadmium can lead to tubular dysfunction, bone damage and even damage to the central nervous system. Wu Zhengyan told China Science Daily. Therefore, it is of great significance to reduce the pollution caused by cadmium to water bodies and soils.

The study found that the tobacco waste liquid in the tobacco production process is rich in organic matter, which can be converted into an efficient and low-cost hydrothermal carbon adsorbent by hydrothermal carbonization method for removing divalent cadmium and repairing cadmium pollution. However, it is difficult to separate hydrothermal charcoal from water and soil.

Scrap slag in steelmaking production has a high degree of magnetism. Therefore, the hydrothermal carbon can be given magnetism by means of waste iron slag and tobacco waste liquid co-hydrothermal, which is convenient for its separation.

Adhering to the concept of “waste treatment”, based on the above principles, the research group used tobacco waste liquid and waste iron slag, two kinds of waste that may cause pressure on the environment, as raw materials to prepare iron-based carbon microspheres and repair cadmium pollution in water bodies and soil.

Wu Zhengyan introduced that the surface of iron-based carbon microspheres has carboxyl groups, aromatic rings and calcium ions, and the removal of cadmium is achieved through cation-π bonding, electrostatic attraction, cation exchange and other actions.

The research group conducted potted experiments using Chinese cabbage as a typical crop. The results show that the use of iron-based carbon microspheres can effectively repair cadmium pollution, reduce the cadmium content in crops, and improve food safety.

The reviewers believe that “the work uses waste as raw materials to prepare iron-based carbon microspheres to remove cadmium, with novel ideas and clear intentions, which promotes the resource utilization of waste.” (Source: China Science Daily Wang Min)

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