Desorption of cadmium from a natural Shanghai clay using citric acid industrial wastewater

Ying Ying Gu*, Albert T. Yeung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The sorption/desorption characteristics of heavy metals onto/from soil particle surfaces are the primary factors controlling the success of the remediation of heavy-metal contaminated soils. These characteristics are pH-dependent, chemical-specific, and reversible; and can be modified by enhancement agents such as chelates and surfactants. In this study, batch experiments were conducted to evaluate the feasibility of using citric acid industrial wastewater (CAIW) to desorb cadmium from a natural clay from Shanghai, China at different soil mixture pHs. It can be observed from the results that the proportion of cadmium desorbed from the soil using synthesized CAIW is generally satisfactory, i.e., >60%, when the soil mixture pH is lower than 6. However, the proportion of desorbed cadmium decreases significantly with increase in soil mixture pH. The dominant cadmium desorption mechanism using CAIW is the complexion of cadmium with citric acid and acetic acid in CAIW. It is concluded that CAIW can be a promising enhancement agent for the remediation of cadmium-contaminated natural soils when the environmental conditions are favorable. As a result, CAIW, a waste product itself, can be put into productive use in soil remediation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-149
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2011


  • Citric acid industrial wastewater (CAIW)
  • Desorption
  • Electrokinetic remediation
  • Soil remediation
  • Sorption


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