Water treatment residual (WTR)-coated wood mulch for alleviation of toxic metals and phosphorus from polluted urban stormwater runoff

Hanieh Soleimanifar, Yang Deng, Laying Wu, Dibyendu Sarkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Aluminum-based water treatment residual (WTR)-coated wood mulches were synthesized and tested for removal of heavy metals and phosphorus (P) in synthetic urban stormwater. WTRs are an industrial waste produced from coagulation in water treatment facilities, primarily composed of amorphous aluminum or iron hydroxides. Batch tests showed that the composite filter media could effectively adsorb 97% lead (Pb), 76% zinc (Zn), 81% copper (Cu) and 97% P from the synthetic stormwater (Pb = 100 μg/L, Zn = 800 μg/L, Cu = 100 μg/L, P = 2.30 mg/L, and pH = 7.0) within 120 min, due to the presence of aluminum hydroxides as an active adsorbent. The adsorption was a 2nd-order reaction with respect toward each pollutant. Column tests demonstrated that the WTR-coated mulches considerably alleviated the select pollutants under a continuous-flow condition over the entire filtration period. The effluent Pb, Zn, Cu, and P varied at 0.5-8.9%, 33.4-46.7%, 45.8-55.8%, and 6.4-51.9% of their respective initial concentrations with the increasing bed volume from 0 to 50. Synthetic precipitation leaching procedure (SPLP) and toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) tests indicated that leached contaminants were all below the U.S. criteria, suggesting that the release of undesired chemicals under rainfall or landfilling conditions is not a concern during application. This study demonstrates that the WTR-coated mulches are a new, low-cost, and effective filter media for urban stormwater treatment. Equally important, this study provides a sustainable approach to beneficially reuse an industrial waste for environmental pollution control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-292
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Adsorption
  • Phosphorus
  • Toxic metals
  • Urban stormwater pollutants
  • Water treatment residuals
  • Wood mulch


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