University of Oulu

Giorgia Franchin, Janne Pesonen, Tero Luukkonen, Chengying Bai, Paolo Scanferla, Renata Botti, Sara Carturan, Murilo Innocentini, Paolo Colombo, Removal of ammonium from wastewater with geopolymer sorbents fabricated via additive manufacturing, Materials & Design, Volume 195, 2020, 109006, ISSN 0264-1275,

Removal of ammonium from wastewater with geopolymer sorbents fabricated via additive manufacturing

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Author: Franchin, Giorgia1; Pesonen, Janne2; Luukkonen, Tero3;
Organizations: 1Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padova, Via Marzolo 9, 35131 Padova, Italy
2Research Unit of Sustainable Chemistry, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 8000, 90014 Oulu, Finland
3Fibre and Particle Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 8000, 90014 Oulu, Finland
4Key Laboratory of Superlight Materials and Surface Technology, Ministry of Education, College of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, Harbin Engineering University, 150001 Harbin, China
5Legnaro National Lab, National Institute for Nuclear Physiscs (INFN), Viale dell'Università 2, 35020 Legnaro, Italy
6Course of Chemical Engineering, University of Ribeirão Preto (UNAERP), 14096-900 Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
7Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, State College, PA 16802, USA
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-08-17


Geopolymers have been recently explored as sorbents for wastewater treatment, thanks to their mechanical and chemical stability and to their low-energy manufacturing process. One specific application could be the removal of ammonium (NH₄+) through exchange with Na+ ions. Additive manufacturing (AM) represents an especially interesting option for fabrication, as it allows to tailor the size, distribution, shape, and interconnectivity of pores, and therefore the access to charge-bearing sites. The present study provides a proof of concept for NH₄+ removal from wastewater using porous geopolymer components fabricated via direct ink writing (DIW) AM approach. A metakaolin-based ink was employed for the fabrication of a log-pile structure with 45° rotation between layers, producing continuous yet tortuous macropores which are responsible for the high permeability of the sorbents. The ink consolidates in an amorphous, mesoporous network, with the mesopores acting as preferential sites for ion exchange. The printed sorbents were characterized for their physicochemical and mechanical properties and the NH₄+ removal capacity in continuous-flow column experiments by using a model effluent. The lattices present high permeability and high cation exchange capacity and maintained a high amount of active ions after four cycles, allowing to reuse them multiple times.

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Series: Materials & design
ISSN: 0264-1275
ISSN-E: 1873-4197
ISSN-L: 0264-1275
Volume: 195
Article number: 109006
DOI: 10.1016/j.matdes.2020.109006
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 116 Chemical sciences
216 Materials engineering
217 Medical engineering
218 Environmental engineering
Funding: This work was supported by the Academy of Finland (grant #315103), by the China Scholarship Council (CSC, Grant # 201407565009) and by MIUR PRIN2017 (project # 2017PMR932).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 315103
Detailed Information: 315103 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (