Rare earth real wastewater treatment by pilot scale using new concept continuous treatment process

Yonghyeon Lee, Yangmin Ren, Mingcan Cui, Junjun Ma, Zhengchang Han, Ohhun Kwon, Juin Ko, Jeehyeong Khim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Rare earth (RE) containing radioactive species and a variety of toxic pollutants The treatment of real wastewater is very important for environmental protection. In this study, a new concept of continuous process consisting of precipitation, adsorption, and oxidation was developed without the use of chemicals. In the sedimentation step, waste oyster shell(WOS) and a PE tube diffuser(PE250) containing Na2S (PECa/S), PECa/S were prepared, which were used to precipitate heavy metals with a removal efficiency of 97% or more. In the adsorption step, fluorine (F), arsenic (As), and thorium (Th) were precipitated and removed when heavy metals were removed using coal mine drainage sludge (CMDS) and an adsorbent (PUCMDS) made of polyurethane (PU). Running a semi and pilot scale continuous process using PECa/S, PUCMDS and O3/HC systems resulted in a semi and pilot scale operating period of 120 and 62 days, and 60.26, 797.84, 46.94, 78.62 g, and 7.120 kg and 266.35, 42556.8, 191.95, 3108.43 g and 629.84 kg for As, F, Th, Pb and CODcr has been removed respectively. In addition, the removal efficiencies of As, F, Th, Pb and CODcr were 99.75, 99.98, 93.60, 99.99, and 88.82%, respectively, when treating real RE wastewater using the pilot scale system. Without the use of agitated reactors and regulators, the new concept of continuous process can effectively treat RE real wastewater, and the quality of the process outlet has met the pollutant limits recommended by EPA and China for irrigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130523
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korean Mine Reclamation Corporation (MIREC) project (Q 2010111 ) and Korean Ministry of the Environment as a Subsurface Environment Management (SEM) project (N0 2019002480001 ) and the Nanjing Science and Technology Program - International Co-operation in Industrial Technology Research and Development (NSTP) project (No. 201911003 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Heavy metal
  • Organic compounds
  • Ozone and hydrodynamic cavitation oxidation
  • Precipitation and adsorption
  • Radioactive
  • Rare earth wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Rare earth real wastewater treatment by pilot scale using new concept continuous treatment process'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this