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Adsorption of heavy metals by road deposited solids


The research study discussed in the paper investigated the adsorption/desorption behaviour of heavy metals commonly deposited on urban road surfaces, namely, Zn, Cu, Cr and Pb, for different particle size ranges of solids. The study outcomes, based on field studies and batch experiments, confirmed that road deposited solids particles contain a significantly high amount of vacant charge sites with the potential to adsorb additional heavy metals. Kinetic studies and adsorption experiments indicated that Cr is the most preferred metal element to associate with solids due to the relatively high electronegativity and high charge density of trivalent cation (Cr3+). However, the relatively low availability of Cr in the urban road environment could influence this behaviour. Comparing total adsorbed metals present in solids particles, it was found that Zn has the highest capacity for adsorption to solids. Desorption experiments confirmed that a low concentration of Cu, Cr and Pb in solids was present in water-soluble and exchangeable form, whilst a significant fraction of adsorbed Zn has a high likelihood of being released back into solution. Among heavy metals, Zn is considered to be the most commonly available metal among road surface pollutants.

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