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Zeolite formation from coal fly ash and heavy metal ion removal characteristics of thus-obtained Zeolite X in multi-metal systems

Jha, Vinay Kumar, Nagae, Masahiro, Matsuda, Motohide, Miyake, Michihiro
Journal of environmental management 2009 v.90 no.8 pp. 2507-2514
zeolites, coal fly ash, heavy metals, extraction, adsorption, pollution control, sorption isotherms
Zeolitic materials have been prepared from coal fly ash as well as from a SiO₂-Al₂O₃ system upon NaOH fusion treatment, followed by subsequent hydrothermal processing at various NaOH concentrations and reaction times. During the preparation process, the starting material initially decomposed to an amorphous form, and the nucleation process of the zeolite began. The carbon content of the starting material influenced the formation of the zeolite by providing an active surface for nucleation. Zeolite A (Na-A) was transformed into zeolite X (Na-X) with increasing NaOH concentration and reaction time. The adsorption isotherms of the obtained Na-X based on the characteristics required to remove heavy ions such as Ni²⁺, Cu²⁺, Cd²⁺ and Pb²⁺ were examined in multi-metal systems. Thus obtained experimental data suggests that the Langmuir and Freundlich models are more accurate compared to the Dubinin-Kaganer-Radushkevich (DKR) model. However, the sorption energy obtained from the DKR model was helpful in elucidating the mechanism of the sorption process. Further, in going from a single- to multi-metal system, the degree of fitting for the Freundlich model compared with the Langmuir model was favored due to its basic assumption of a heterogeneity factor. The Extended-Langmuir model may be used in multi-metal systems, but gives a lower value for equilibrium sorption compared with the Langmuir model.