Aquatic environment

Removal of heavy metal ions from aqueous solution using red loessas an adsorbent

Shengtao Xing , Meiqing Zhao , Zichuan Ma


Received October 11, 2010,Revised March 03, 2011, Accepted , Available online

Volume 23,2011,Pages 1497-1502

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The adsorption behaviors of heavy metals onto novel low-cost adsorbent, red loess, were investigated. Red loess was characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectra. The results indicated that red loess mainly consisted of silicate, ferric and aluminum oxides. Solution pH, adsorbent dosage, initial metal concentration, contact time and temperature significantly influenced the efficiency of heavy metals removal. The adsorption reached equilibrium at 4 hr, and the experimental equilibrium data were fitted to Langmuir monolayer adsorption model. The adsorption of Cu(II) and Zn(II) onto red loess was endothermic, while the adsorption of Pb(II) was exothermic. The maximum adsorption capacities of red loess for Pb(II), Cu(II) and Zn(II) were estimated to be 113.6, 34.2 and 17.5 mg/g, respectively at 25°C and pH 6. The maximum removal efficiencies were 100% for Pb(II) at pH 7, 100% for Cu(II) at pH 8, and 80% for Zn(II) at pH 8. The used adsorbents were readily regenerated using dilute HCl solution, indicating that red loess has a high reusability. All the above results demonstrated that red loess could be used as a possible alternative low-cost adsorbent for the removal of heavy metals from aqueous solution.

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