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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

ISSN 2095-2201

ISSN 2095-221X(Online)

CN 10-1013/X

Postal Subscription Code 80-973

2018 Impact Factor: 3.883

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2019, Vol. 13 Issue (6) : 91
Recovery of Ni(II) from real electroplating wastewater using fixed-bed resin adsorption and subsequent electrodeposition
Tong Li1, Ke Xiao2, Bo Yang2, Guilong Peng1, Fenglei Liu1, Liyan Tao1, Siyuan Chen2, Haoran Wei3, Gang Yu1, Shubo Deng1()
1. State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, Beijing Key Laboratory for Emerging Organic Contaminants Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2. Department of Environmental Engineering, College of Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
3. Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA
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Resin adsorption and subsequent electrodeposition were used for nickel recovery.

Treated wastewater can meet the Electroplating Pollutant Discharge Standard.

The spent resin is completely regenerated by 3 BV of 4% HCl solution.

95.6% of nickel in concentrated eluent was recovered by electrodeposition.

Effective recovery of high-value heavy metals from electroplating wastewater is of great significance, but recovering nickel ions from real electroplating wastewater as nickel sheet has not been reported. In this study, the pilot-scale fixed-bed resin adsorption was conducted to recover Ni(II) ions from real nickel plating wastewater, and then the concentrated Ni(II) ions in the regenerated solution were reduced to nickel sheet via electrodeposition. A commercial cation-exchange resin was selected and the optimal resin adsorption and regeneration conditions were investigated. The resin exhibited an adsorption capacity of 63 mg/g for Ni(II) ions, and the average amount of treated water was 84.6 bed volumes (BV) in the pilot-scale experiments. After the adsorption by two ion-exchange resin columns in series and one chelating resin column, the concentrations of Ni(II) in the treated wastewater were below 0.1 mg/L. After the regeneration of the spent resin using 3 BV of 4% (w/w) HCl solution, 1.5 BV of concentrated neutral nickel solution (>30 g/L) was obtained and used in the subsequent electrodeposition process. Using the aeration method, alkali and water required in resin activation process were greatly reduced to 2 BV and 3 BV, respectively. Under the optimal electrodeposition conditions, 95.6% of Ni(II) in desorption eluent could be recovered as the elemental nickel on the cathode. The total treatment cost for the resin adsorption and regeneration as well as the electrodeposition was calculated.

Keywords Nickel removal      Ion exchange      Electroplating wastewater      Regeneration      Electrodeposition     
Corresponding Authors: Shubo Deng   
Issue Date: 29 November 2019
 Cite this article:   
Tong Li,Ke Xiao,Bo Yang, et al. Recovery of Ni(II) from real electroplating wastewater using fixed-bed resin adsorption and subsequent electrodeposition[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2019, 13(6): 91.
Fig.1  Schematic diagram  (a) and photograph (b) of the pilot-scale resin adsorption system
Fig.2  Structure design  (a) and photograph (b) of the electrodeposition device.
Fig.3  Adsorbed amounts  of Ni(II) in electroplating wastewater on different resins.
Fig.4  Effect of pH on adsorbed  amounts of Ni(II) onto the resins W1 and W3.
Fig.5  Breakthrough  curves for Ni(II) adsorption on the resin during five pilot-scale adsorption cycles.
Cycles Average Ni(II) concentrations in influent (mg/L) Ni(II) adsorbed at breakthrough point (mg/g) Ni(II) adsorbed at saturation point (mg/g) Volume of treated water (BV)
1st cycle 367.59 45.38 64.83 99.69
2nd cycle 387.37 47.31 62.77 86.23
3rd cycle 560.50 50.98 74.32 79.54
4th cycle 399.42 33.09 50.73 86.97
5th cycle 547.09 35.94 61.93 70.55
Tab.1  Adsorbed amounts of Ni(II) on the resin W3 at the breakthrough and saturation points as well as the treated volume of wastewater
Fig.6  Ni(II), Cu(II)  and total Cr concentrations in the effluent of three columns (a–c) (two cation-exchange resin columns and one chelating resin column).
Fig.7  Ni(II)  concentrations and pH profiles in 5 elution cycles (a–e) and metal concentrations in the eluent during the five cycles (f).
Metal ions Concentration (mg/L)
Ni2+ 28500
Cu2+ 24.7
Mn2+ 12.2
Fe3+ 0.56
Pb2+ <0.1
Zn2+ 9.5
Total Cr 0.54
Ca2+ 634
Tab.2  Metal ion  concentrations in the elution used in the electrodeposition process
Fig.8  Effect of current  density (a), pH (b), Ni(II) concentration (c), temperature (d), and additives concentration (e and f) on nickel recovery and current efficiency.
Fig.9  The electrode and  nickel sheet obtained after electrodeposition.
Process Item Price Usage a) Cost a)
Adsorption and regeneration 4% HCl ¥ 0.7 /kg (36% HCl) b) 35.46 kg ¥ 2.76
4% NaOH ¥ 3.5 /kg b) 23.64 kg ¥ 3.31
H2O ¥ 0.0041 /kg c) 53.19 kg ¥ 0.22
Electricity for ion exchange ¥ 1.025 /kWh c) 0.5 kWh ¥ 0.5
Pretreatment of elution NaOH d) ¥ 3.5 /kg b) 0.045 kg ¥ 0.155
98% H2SO4 ¥ 2.06 /L b) 0.045 L ¥ 0.091
Na2SO4 d) ¥ 2.06 /kg b) 0.887 kg ¥ 1.83
H3BO3 d) ¥ 31 /kg b) 0.111 kg ¥ 3.44
Nickel electrodeposition Electricity for heating ¥ 1.025 /kWh c) 9.66 kWh ¥ 9.90
Electricity for deposition ¥ 1.025 /kWh c) 14.89 kWh ¥15.27
Nickel recovery Elemental nickel ¥127 /kg 0.51 kg ¥ 64.17
Tab.3  Cost evaluation  of nickel recovery in the pilot scale experiments
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