Combined two-stage xanthate processes for the treatment of copper-containing wastewater

Y. K. Chang, M. H. Leu, J. E. Chang, T. F. Lin, L. C. Chiang, P. H. Shih, T. C. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Heavy metal removal is mainly conducted by adjusting the wastewater pH to form metal hydroxide precipitates. However, in recent years, the xanthate process with a high metal removal efficiency, attracted attention due to its use of sorption/desorption of heavy metals from aqueous solutions. In this study, two kinds of agricultural xanthates, insoluble peanut-shell xanthate (IPX) and insoluble starch xanthate (ISX), were used as sorbents to treat the copper-containing wastewater (Cu concentration from 50 to 1,000 mg/L). The experimental results showed that the maximum Cu removal efficiency by IPX was 93.5 % in the case of high Cu concentrations, whereby 81.1 % of copper could rapidly be removed within one minute. Moreover, copper-containing wastewater could also be treated by ISX over a wide range (50 to 1,000 mg/L) to a level that meets the Taiwan EPA's effluent regulations (3 mg/L) within 20 minutes. Whereas IPX had a maximum binding capacity for copper of 185 mg/g IPX, the capacity for ISX was 120 mg/g ISX. IPX is cheaper than ISX, and has the benefits of a rapid reaction and a high copper binding capacity, however, it exhibits a lower copper removal efficiency. A sequential IPX and ISX treatment (i.e., two-stage xanthate processes) could therefore be an excellent alternative. The results obtained using the two-stage xanthate process revealed an effective copper treatment. The effluent (Ce) was below 0.6 mg/L, compared to the influent (C0) of 1,001 mg/L at pH = 4 and a dilution rate of 0.6 h-1. Furthermore, the Cu-ISX complex formed could meet the Taiwan TCLP regulations, and be classified as non-hazardous waste. The xanthatilization of agricultural wastes offers a comprehensive strategy for solving both agricultural waste disposal and metal-containing wastewater treatment problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-80
Number of pages6
JournalEngineering in Life Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Combined two-stage xanthate processes for the treatment of copper-containing wastewater'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this