Adsorption of Cu(II), Ni(II), Zn(II), Cd(II) and Pb(II) onto Kaolin/Zeolite Based- Geopolymers


This work deals with geopolymers based on local Jordanian resources, namely, kaolin and zeoltitic (phillipsite) tuff. The geopolymers were prepared from these two materials by a reaction with an alkali solution at 80oC. The research group of the present work has demonstrated in previous work that addition of zeolitic tuff to kaolin based-geopolymers increases the adsorption capacity toward Cu(II) metal ion compared to zeolite-free geopolymers, while retaining high mechanical strength. The aim of the present work is to extend our work and to study the effect of changing geopolymers components (zeolitic tuff and kaolin) on their adsorption properties toward Cu(II), Ni(II), Zn(II), Cd(II) and Pb(II) metal ions. Both isothermal and kinetic studies revealed that increasing the zeolitic tuff: kaolin ratio improves the adsorption capacity of geopolymer toward metal ions. The adsorption capacity of the geopolymers of 150: 50 zeolites: kaolin content was found to be higher than that of the raw materials themselves. The rate of adsorption of geopolymers was found to be lower than that of raw materials due to kinetic limitations imposed by the formation of geopolymerization network. The selectivity of geopolymers toward adsorption of  metal ions was found to be distinct from raw zeolite and kaolin where the adsorption onto geopolymers was found to be more preferential for small size metal ions (Cu(II), Ni(II), Zn(II)) than for large size metal ions (Pb(II), Cd(II)). The adsorption of Cu(II) and Pb(II) onto geopolymers did not decrease with competition with other metal ions, which indicates cooperative adsorption. The adsorption process of metal ions onto geopolymers was found to be reversible that indicates that metal ions are bound by physical cation exchange to the exchangeable sites of unreacted phillipsite and new amorphous geopolymer sites. Leaching of metal ions from raw kaolin was much more effective than geopolymers and zeolite because of compact structure of geopolymers.


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B. El-Eswed, M. Alshaaer, R. Ibrahim Yousef, I. Hamadneh and F. Khalili, "Adsorption of Cu(II), Ni(II), Zn(II), Cd(II) and Pb(II) onto Kaolin/Zeolite Based- Geopolymers," Advances in Materials Physics and Chemistry, Vol. 2 No. 4B, 2012, pp. 119-125. doi: 10.4236/ampc.2012.24B032.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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