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Journal Article 
Effects of ionic strength on removal of toxic pollutants from aqueous media with multifarious adsorbents: A review 
Zhang, Y; Zhu, C; Liu, F; Yuan, Y; Wu, H; Li, A 
Science of the Total Environment
ISSN: 0048-9697
EISSN: 1879-1026 
Adsorption is one of the most widely used and effective wastewater treatment methods. The role of ionic strength (IS) in shaping the adsorption performances is much necessary due to the ubiquity of electrolyte ions in water body and industrial effluents. The influences of IS on adsorption are rather complex, because electrolyte ions affect both adsorption kinetics and thermodynamics by changing the basic characteristics of adsorbents and adsorbates. For a given adsorption system, multiple or even contradictory effects of IS may coexist under identical experimental conditions, rendering the dominant mechanism recognition and net effect prediction complicated. We herein reviewed the key advancement on the interaction and mechanisms of IS, including change in number of active sites for adsorbents, ion pair for metal ions, molecular aggregation and salting-out effect for organic compounds, site competition for both inorganic and organic adsorbates, and charge compensation for adsorbent-adsorbate reciprocal interactions. The corresponding fundamental theory was thoroughly described, and the efforts made by various researchers were explicated. The structural optimization of adsorbents affected by IS was detailed, also highlighting polyamine materials with exciting "salt-promotion" effects on heavy metal removal from high salinity wastewater. In addition, the research trends and prospects were briefly discussed.