Adsorptive removal of trace thallium(I) from wastewater: A review and new perspectives

Zhuo Zhao, Yanhang Xiong, Xiankun Cheng, Xue Hou, Yongxiang Yang, Yongpan Tian, Jinglin You, Liang Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    75 Citations (Scopus)


    Thallium is an emerging pollutant reported in wastewater along with the increasing mining and smelting of thallium-containing ores in recent years. The complete removal of Tl(I) from wastewater is of significant emergency due to its high toxicity and mobility, however, Tl(I) removal is always confronted with numerous technical difficulties because of the extremely low Tl(I) concentration in wastewater and the disturbances of many accompanying impurity ions. Adsorption is currently the most widely used method for Tl(I) removal on industrial scale and varied kinds of adsorbents such as Prussian blue analogues, biosorbents, and metal oxides have been developed. However, the adsorption process of Tl(I) is always affected by the co-existing cations, resulting in low Tl(I) removal efficiency. Recently, the development of a variety of novel adsorbents or ion sensors based on macrocyclic compounds for enrichment and accurate determination of trace Tl(I) in aqueous solutions exhibits great potential for application in Tl(I) removal from wastewater with high selectivity and process efficiency. This paper provides an overview of the adsorption methods for Tl(I) removal from wastewater with emphasis on complexation properties between varied types of adsorbents and Tl(I). Future directions of research and development of adsorptive Tl(I) removal from industrial wastewater are proposed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number122378
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • Adsorption
    • Macrocyclic compounds
    • Technology overview
    • Thallium removal
    • Wastewater


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