HEAVY METAL REMOVAL BY ZEOLITE ADSORPTION

Author: AZUBUIKE, KINGSLEY
Department: Chemical Engineering
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

The efficiency of synthetic zeolite as an adsorbent for the removal of lead from stimulated wastewater was studied, in which sodium hydroxide (NaOH) was used to prepare the indigenous aluminosilicate. The aluminosilicate used was collected from Agbaghara Nsu Mbano, from Okigwe zone of Imo State, Nigeria, and the synthetic zeolite was produced. Both the aluminosilicate and the produced synthetic zeolite were characterized using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) to determine the functional groups, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) to examine the surface morphology and the use of Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS) to determine the elements present in the aluminosilicate. The zeolite production was optimized using the Central Composite Design (CCD) for three factors, and the optimization results were analyzed using Design expert 8.1.0 trial version, the optimum conditions for the zeolite production were calcinations temperature of 800oC, sodium hydroxide concentration, 4mg/l, reaction time, 2 hours. The batch adsorption studies were carried out, where the effects of pH, concentration, temperature, and time were determined. Langmuir, Freundlich, and Temkin isotherms were used to describe the adsorption isotherms and their constants evaluated. The equilibrium data was found to fit the Langmuir and Freundlich models. Kinetic models such as First-order, pseudo first-order, second-order and Elovich models were used to fit the experimental data. The result indicated that pseudo second-order model best describes the kinetics of the adsorption process. The adsorption process was optimized using the Central Composite Design (CCD) for four factors and the results were analyzed using Design expert 8.1.0 trial version with the optimum conditions of time 50mins, pH 8, temperature 40oC, and concentration of 80mg/l. The ion loaded synthetic zeolite was successfully desorbed using solutions of sodium chloride as desorbing materials and the desorption isotherms were determined.

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