Effective removal of zinc from an aqueous solution using Turkish leonardite-clinoptilolite mixture as a sorbent

Zengin G.

ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES, vol.70, no.7, pp.3031-3041, 2013 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 70 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12665-013-2364-5
  • Page Numbers: pp.3031-3041


In this study, the feasibility of using a low-cost adsorbent mixture composed of leonardite (L) and clinoptilolite (C) was evaluated by batch adsorption method using different parameters such as mixing ratio, contact time, pH, temperature, and adsorbent amount for the removal of Zn (II) ions from an aqueous solution. The adsorbents were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. Additionally, leonardite-clinoptilolite mixture was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray. The Zn (II) adsorption along with an unprecedented adsorption capacity of 454.55 mg g(-1) for unmodified natural sorbents was obtained by mixing leonardite and clinoptilolite (LC) without any pretreatment at a ratio of 3:1, using 0.1 g of sorbent at a pH 6, for 2 h of contact time. The experimental data showed a good fit for the Langmuir isotherm model. The thermodynamic parameters revealed that the present adsorption process was spontaneous and exothermic in nature (25-50 A degrees C). The kinetic results of the adsorption showed that the Zn (II) adsorption onto the LC follows pseudo-second-order model. The resultant LC mixture has an excellent adsorption capacity of a Zn (II) aqueous solution, and data obtained may form the basis for utilization of LC as an unpretreated low-cost adsorbent for treatment of metalliferous industrial wastewater.