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Adsorption of aqueous neodymium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, and yttrium ions onto nZVI-montmorillonite: kinetics, thermodynamic mechanism, and the influence of coexisting ions

Wang, Jiao
Environmental science and pollution research international 2018 v.25 no.33 pp. 33521-33537
X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, activation energy, adsorbents, adsorption, europium, gadolinium, heat production, ion exchange, ions, iron, models, molybdenum, nanoparticles, neodymium, pH, sorption isotherms, temperature, terbium, yttrium
This study reports the adsorption of five rare earth elements (REEs) (belonging to light (Nd, Eu, Gd), medium (Tb), and heavy (Y) REE group) on montmorillonite-supported zero-valent iron nanoparticles (nZVI-M). Various parameters about REEs adsorption were investigated: the pH value, the adsorption kinetic, the maximum adsorption capacity, and the adsorption isotherm. The temperature (293–313 K) had a limited effect on the final adsorption equilibrium capacity and the analysis of thermodynamic studies suggests it was spontaneous (negative values of ∆Gᵒ) and exothermic (negative values of ∆Hᵒ). The system randomness decreased after adsorption (negative values of ∆Sᵒ). In addition, the values of thermodynamic parameters and the activation energy were strongly dependent on the temperature range because different kinds of REEs participated in the reaction in the form of hydrated ions and followed a randomly and complexly dissociative adsorption mechanism. According to the intraparticle diffusion model analysis, the adsorption of REEs on nZVI-M was dominated by chemisorption and the nano size of nZVI-M reduced the diffusion thickness and the resistance to intraparticle diffusion. Based on the characterization of adsorbent by XPS, the adsorption mechanisms of REEs on nZVI-M were ion exchange and surface complexation.