University of Oulu

M.A.H. Bhuyan, R.K. Gebre, M.A.J. Finnilä, M. Illikainen, T. Luukkonen, Preparation of filter by alkali activation of blast furnace slag and its application for dye removal, Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, Volume 10, Issue 1, 2022, 107051, ISSN 2213-3437,

Preparation of filter by alkali activation of blast furnace slag and its application for dye removal

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Author: Bhuyan, M. A. H.1; Gebre, R. K.2; Finnilä, M. A. J.2;
Organizations: 1Fibre and Particle Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4300, 90014, Oulu, Finland
2Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, University of Oulu, Aapistie 5 A, Oulu 90220, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 6.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-01-03


This study demonstrates a high-value valorization of blast furnace slag in foamed alkali-activated filters for adsorption applications, using methylene blue as a model compound. The filters were prepared by combining alkali activation of blast furnace slag with direct foaming, followed by curing at 60 °C for 4 h. Five different surfactants were compared for the stabilization of foams. Based on an initial screening, the Triton X-405 surfactant was selected for further studies. The dosages of selected surfactant and H₂O₂ were optimized to obtain compressive strength of 2.59 MPa and specific surface area of 83.3 m²/g for powdered material and 78.31 m²/g for foam pieces. Porosity was determined as 64%, 65%, or 50% by using gas pycnometry, Archimedes method, or X-ray microtomography, respectively. The optimized filter mix design was applied for methylene blue removal in continuous column experiments at two influent concentrations (5 and 10 ppm) by using constant empty-bed contact time of ~9 min (flowrate of ~1 L/h). After 6 h, for both influent concentrations, the dye removal was still 74%, with the initial removal of ~100%. The saturated filter could be regenerated by a thermal treatment resulting improved adsorption performance. When the material was employed as powder, the maximum adsorption capacity was 60.35 mg/g according to the Langmuir isotherm (R² = 0.99) and adsorption kinetics followed the pseudo-second order model. The results demonstrate preliminarily that porous filters prepared in this study have potential to be used in industrial wastewater treatment.

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Series: Journal of environmental chemical engineering
ISSN: 2213-2929
ISSN-E: 2213-3437
ISSN-L: 2213-2929
Issue: In press
DOI: 10.1016/j.jece.2021.107051
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 215 Chemical engineering
216 Materials engineering
218 Environmental engineering
Funding: The authors acknowledge the funding received for this work from the Academy of Finland: grants #326291 (InStreams profiling) and #315103 (Functional geopolymers and peracids in disinfection and advanced oxidation of water and wastewater). Part of this work was carried out with the support of the Centre for Material Analysis, University of Oulu, Finland.
Copyright information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (