Journal of environmental management

Investigation of the strontium (Sr(II)) adsorption of an alginate microsphere as a low-cost adsorbent for removal and recovery from seawater.

PMID 26454070


In this paper, we investigated alginate microspheres as a low-cost adsorbent for strontium (Sr(II)) removal and recovery from seawater. Alginate microspheres have demonstrated a superior adsorption capacity for Sr(II) ions (≈110xa0mg/g). A Freundlich isotherm model fits well with the Sr(II) adsorption of an alginate microsphere. The mechanism of Sr(II) adsorption is inferred as an ion exchange reaction with Ca(II) ions. The effects of the solution pH and co-existing ions in seawater are also investigated. Except for a pH of 1-2, Sr(II) adsorption capacity is not affected by pH. However, increasing the seawater concentration of metal cations seriously decreases Sr(II) uptake. In particular, highly concentrated (15,000xa0mg/L) Na(I) ions significantly interfere with Sr(II) adsorption. Sr(II) desorption was performed using 0.1xa0M HCl and CaCl2. Both regenerants show an excellent desorption efficiency, but the FTIR spectrum reveals that the chemical structure of the microsphere is destroyed after repeated use of HCl. Conversely, CaCl2 successfully desorbed Sr(II) without damage, and the Sr(II) adsorption capacity does not decrease after three repeated uses. The alginate microsphere was also applied to the adsorption of Sr(II) in a real seawater medium. Because of inhibition by co-existing ions, the Sr(II) adsorption capacity was decreased and the adsorption rate was retarded compared with D.I. water. Although the Sr(II) adsorption capacity was decreased, the alginate microsphere still exhibited 17.8xa0mg/g of Sr(II) uptake in the seawater medium. Considering its excellent Sr(II) uptake in seawater and its reusability, an alginate microsphere is an appropriate cost-effective adsorbent for the removal and recovery of Sr(II) from seawater.