Sustainable treatment of boron industry wastewater with precipitation-adsorption hybrid process and recovery of boron species

Öcal Z. B., Öncel M. S., Keskinler B., Khataee A., Karagündüz A.

Process Safety and Environmental Protection, vol.182, pp.719-726, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 182
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.psep.2023.12.006
  • Journal Name: Process Safety and Environmental Protection
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Chimica, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Environment Index, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Greenfile, INSPEC, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.719-726
  • Keywords: Al(OH)3, Boric acid recovery, Boron reuse, Polyborates sorption, Sustainable treatment
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


Boron removal from wastewater has been investigated by using various processes, including ion exchange resins, membrane processes and adsorption. Each method has various advantages and disadvantages, but most produce excessive waste in addition to high operational costs. Therefore, more sustainable methods are required for wastewater containing high concentrations of boron. In this study, a sustainable treatment process was developed for wastewater containing high concentrations of boron. This study investigated the removal of boron from wastewater by Al(OH)3 sorption. The reuse of adsorbent (Al(OH)3) and the potential recovery of boric acid was the main goal of the study. It was observed that although lower concentrations of boron were obtained at pH 10.5 (980 mg/L and 635 mg/L at pH of 9.0 and 10.5, respectively), the amount of sorbed boron at pH 9 was substantially higher (94.7 mg B/g Al(OH)3 and 27.8 mg B/g Al(OH)3 at pH of 9.0 and 10.5, respectively). This was attributed to the higher initial boron concentrations and the formation of boric acid and polyborate complexes at pH 9.0. Results showed that polyborate species sorption was an outer sphere complex formation, which led to the desorption of boron as pH lowered. Adsorbed boron species to Al(OH)3 could effectively be desorbed at low pH values (pH<5.0); which allows Al(OH)3 to be used in successive adsorption studies. Approximately 55% of boron recovery from pretreated wastewater was possible with the effective reuse of adsorbent. A net profit of 2.85 $/m3 could be obtained based on the amounts of chemical consumptions and boron recovery.