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Sustainable and efficient technologies for removal and recovery of toxic and valuable metals from wastewater: Recent progress, challenges, and future perspectives

Highlights•Advances in metals/metalloids removal from wastewater were reviewed and evaluated.•Existing and emerging methods for metals removal from water were discussed.•Mechanisms, environmental aspects, cost-effectiveness, and feasibility were analyzed.•Metals recovery as value-added products were evaluated towards circular economy.•Current limitations and challenges, and future research directions are identified.AbstractDue to their numerous effects on human health and the natural environment, water contamination with heavy metals (HMs) and metalloids, caused by their extensive use in various technologies and industrial applications, continues to be a huge ecological issue that needs to be urgently tackled. Additionally, within the circular economy management framework, the recovery and recycling of HMs-based waste as high value-added products (VAPs) is of great interest, owing to their high cost and the continuous depletion of their reserves and natural sources. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art technologies developed for the removal and recovery of HMs from wastewater by providing an in-depth understanding of their remediation mechanisms, while analyzing and critically discussing the recent key advances regarding these treatment methods, their practical implementation and integration, as well as evaluating their advantages and remaining limitations. Herein, various treatment techniques are covered, including adsorption, reduction/oxidation, ion exchange, membrane separation technologies, solvents extraction, chemical precipitation/co-precipitation, coagulation-flocculation, flotation, and bioremediation. A particular emphasis is placed on full recovery of the captured metal pollutants in various reusable forms as metal-based VAPs, mainly as solid precipitates, which is a powerful tool that offers substantial enhancement of the remediation processes’ sustainability and cost-effectiveness. At the end, we have identified some prospective research directions for future work on this topic, while presenting some recommendations that can promote sustainability and economic feasibility of the existing treatment technologies.Graphical abstractDownload : Download high-res image (389KB)Download : Download full-size image

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