Selenate Removal from Waste Water by Direct Chemical Reduction

Additonal authors: Dreisinger, D.. Book title: Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019. Chapter: . Chapter title:

Proceedings, Vol. Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019, 2019

Mohammadi, M.

Chemical reduction of selenate by chromous ions is proposed as a novel method to remove selenate from sulfate-bearing solutions Chromous ions were generated by electrochemical reduction of chromic ions using an electrochemical cell. The investigation was conducted in sulfate medium and under various concentrations of chromous ions (0.0062 to 0.05M), pH 1 to 2.2 and temperature 10 to 60°C. Selenate ions were rapidly reduced by chromous ions to hydrogen selenide. The overall reaction at a chromous/selenate molar ratio of 8 or higher can be expressed by the following reaction. At an initial chromous/selenate molar ratio below 8, the products are hydrogen selenide and elemental selenium. At a lower chromous/selenate molar ratio and pH, more elemental selenium and less hydrogen selenide are produced. The reduction kinetics is controlled by both chromous ion and hydrogen ions concentrations. The reaction rate is first order with respect to selenate, hydrogen ion and chromous ion concentrations. It was found that the selenate reduction rate with chromous is independent of the concentration of sulfate present in the solution. The general rate equation was proposed and the rate constant was calculated as k= 0.38 M-2s-1. An activation energy of 58.7 kJ/mol was obtained in the temperature range from 10 to 50°C. Nearly 100% of selenate can be reduced to H2Se from solution containing 17 ppm selenate in less than 30 minutes at pH 2.2 and 60°C. Various strategies have been tested to remove the produced H2Se from solution. INTRODUCTION Selenium in nature is mostly associated with metal sulfide minerals such as copper, iron, zinc, and lead sulfides (Zingaro & Cooper, 1974). The extraction of metals from ores has the potential for selenium contamination of ground and surface water which can pose an environmental and health concern. Therefore, selenium contamination in the receiving environment is a key issue for many industries (specifically copper industry) and the treatment of wastewater contaminated with selenium is a growing challenge. The effective removal of selenium from contaminated water is very important to support sustainability in the copper industry and the other industries with selenium pollution issues.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019