University of Oulu

Abayie, S. O., & Leiviskä, T. (2022). Removal of nitrate from underground mine waters using selective ion exchange resins. Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 10(6), 108642.

Removal of nitrate from underground mine waters using selective ion exchange resins

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Author: Abayie, Samuel Okyere1; Leiviskä, Tiina1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Chemical Process Engineering, University of Oulu, P.O. BOX 4300, Oulu FI-90014, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-10-11


The removal of nitrogen from wastewaters is of great importance due to the harmful effects of nitrogen in the environment. In this study, nitrate removal from two underground mine waters was investigated by strong anion exchange resins (Lewatit MonoPlus SR 7 (referred to as SR7, macroporous), Purolite A520E (A520E, macroporous), Purolite A300E (A300E, gel)) in continuous-flow columns. Both mine waters had similar nitrate concentrations (NO₃-N: Mine A 32 mg/l and Mine B 37 mg/l) but contained different levels of chlorides and sulphates. Overall, all three resins removed nitrate from real underground mine waters effectively. In both mine waters, the earliest breakthrough was registered for resin A300E while resins SR7 and A520E had similar breakthrough points. Chloride was identified as a more competitive ion for nitrate than sulphate with resins SR7 and A520E, as their breakthrough curves shifted from left to right when the water was changed from Mine A (higher concentration of Cl⁻) to Mine B (higher concentration of SO₄²⁻). Resin A300E showed a somewhat higher sulphate uptake than the other two resins, which indicates its lower selectivity. This study provides new insight into how selectively nitrate is removed from real underground mine waters by polystyrene resins with different trialkyl functional groups and porosity.

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Series: Journal of environmental chemical engineering
ISSN: 2213-2929
ISSN-E: 2213-3437
ISSN-L: 2213-2929
Volume: 10
Issue: 6
Article number: 108642
DOI: 10.1016/j.jece.2022.108642
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 116 Chemical sciences
218 Environmental engineering
Funding: The study was a part of the “Nitrogen compound removal processes” (KO5021 NITRGONE) research project and received financial support from the Kolarctic CBC (Cross-Border Collaboration), the European Union, Russia, Norway and Finland. This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the authors at the University of Oulu and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union. Part of the work was carried out with the support of the Centre for Material Analysis, University of Oulu, Finland.
Copyright information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (