Removal of dissolved heavy metals from pre-settled stormwater runoff by iron-oxide coated sand (IOCS)

J. Møller, Anna Ledin, Peter Steen Mikkelsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Sorption to iron-oxide coated sand (IOCS) is a promosing technology for removal of the dissolved heavy metal fraction in stormwater runoff. The development of a new technology is necessary since studies of stormwater runoff from traffic areas indicate that an oil separator and detention pond may not guarantee that emission limit values set by the Danish EPA are satisfied. Runoff water was sampled from an urban highway, allowed to settle for 24 hours to simulate the effect of a detention pond, and finally spiked with metals to ensure concentration levels similar to high levels reported in the leterature (Pb=20, Cu=40, Zn=110, and Cr=15 ppb). Column experiments were conducted to test the influence of the infiltration rate (1 or 3 m/h) and the type of iron(hydr)oxide mineral (amorphous ferrihydrite and goethite coated sand). The results show that at least 90% of lead, copper and zinc can be removed by IOCS after 480 pore volumes. Control columns with uncoated filter sand show that lead, copper and zinc were removed with >95%, 35% and 5%, respectively. The removal of the negative metaloxy-ion, CrO4-3 was insignificant in both IOCS and sand columns at pH=7.7. Destruction of the columns after the experiments showed, that Pb, Cu and Zn penetrated to different depths in the columns. No saturation of lead was found in the first cm of the column after 1696 pore volumes of teated water. Copper showed a curved adsorption front, indicating that an infiltration speed of 3 m/h is sligtly too fast for the equilibrium between water phase and IOCS to be reached. The column with ferrihydrite was fully saturated with regard to zinc after 1696 pore volumes. In general the coating of goethite is found to be at least twice as effective as ferrihydrite with respect to the adsorption capacity of copper and zinc. Furthermore, desorption of metals from the IOCS by soaking in weak acid (pH=2.25) showed that 20%, 58% and 75% of the adsorbed Pb, Cu and Zn was recovered. Reuse of the IOCS after soaking in weak acis is possible, but it is likely to lower the adsorption capacities found in this study.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal solutions for urban drainage : 9ICUD, Portland, Oregon, 8-13 September 2002
EditorsE. W. Strecker, W. C. Huber
Place of PublicationReston, VA
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers
Publication date2002
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Event9th International Conference on Global Solutions for Urban Drainage - Portland, OR, United States
Duration: 8 Sep 200213 Sep 2002
Conference number: 9


Conference9th International Conference on Global Solutions for Urban Drainage
CountryUnited States
CityPortland, OR


  • IOCS
  • stormwater treatment
  • adsorption
  • Iron-oxide coated sand
  • heavy metals
  • stormwater runoff

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