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Removal of ammonium ion from water by Na-rich birnessite: Performance and mechanisms

Cheng, Ya, Huang, Tinglin, Shi, Xinxin, Wen, Gang, Sun, Yuankui
Journal of environmental sciences (China) 2017 v.57 pp. 402-410
adsorbents, adsorption, ammonium, aqueous solutions, birnessite, economic sustainability, electrostatic interactions, kinetics, models, pH, sorption isotherms, temperature, thermodynamics, water uptake
Na-rich birnessite (NRB) was synthesized by a simple synthesis method and used as a high-efficiency adsorbent for the removal of ammonium ion (NH4⁺) from aqueous solution. In order to demonstrate the adsorption performance of the synthesized material, the effects of contact time, pH, initial ammonium ion concentration, and temperature were investigated. Adsorption kinetics showed that the adsorption behavior followed the pseudo second-order kinetic model. The equilibrium adsorption data were fitted to Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption models and the model parameters were evaluated. The monolayer adsorption capacity of the adsorbent, as obtained from the Langmuir isotherm, was 22.61mg NH4⁺-N/g at 283K. Thermodynamic analyses showed that the adsorption was spontaneous and that it was also a physisorption process. Our data revealed that the higher NH4⁺ adsorption capacity could be primarily attributed to the water absorption process and electrostatic interaction. Particularly, the high surface hydroxyl-content of NRB enables strong interactions with ammonium ion. The results obtained in this study illustrate that the NRB is expected to be an effective and economically viable adsorbent for ammonium ion removal from aqueous system.