Adsorption Characteristics of Multi-Metal Ions by Red Mud, Zeolite, Limestone, and Oyster Shell

  • Shin, Woo-Seok (Institute of Marine Science and Technology Research, Hankyong National University) ;
  • Kang, Ku (Institute of Marine Science and Technology Research, Hankyong National University) ;
  • Kim, Young-Kee (Institute of Marine Science and Technology Research, Hankyong National University)
  • Received : 2013.05.16
  • Accepted : 2013.09.25
  • Published : 2014.03.30


In this study, the performances of various adsorbents-red mud, zeolite, limestone, and oyster shell-were investigated for the adsorption of multi-metal ions ($Cr^{3+}$, $Ni^{2+}$, $Cu^{2+}$, $Zn^{2+}$, $As^{3+}$, $Cd^{2+}$, and $Pb^{2+}$) from aqueous solutions. The result of scanning electron microscopy analyses indicated that the some metal ions were adsorbed onto the surface of the media. Moreover, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis showed that the Si(Al)-O bond (red mud and zeolite) and C-O bond (limestone and oyster shell) might be involved in heavy metal adsorption. The changes in the pH of the aqueous solutions upon applying adsorbents were investigated and the adsorption kinetics of the metal ions on different adsorbents were simulated by pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second-order models. The sorption process was relatively fast and equilibrium was reached after about 60 min of contact (except for $As^{3+}$). From the maximum capacity of the adsorption kinetic model, the removal of $Pb^{2+}$ and $Cu^{2+}$ were higher than for the other metal ions. Meanwhile, the reaction rate constants ($k_{1,2}$) indicated the slowest sorption in $As^{3+}$. The adsorption mechanisms of heavy metal ions were not only surface adsorption and ion exchange, but also surface precipitation. Based on the metal ions' adsorption efficiencies, red mud was found to be the most efficient of all the tested adsorbents. In addition, impurities in seawater did not lead to a significant decrease in the adsorption performance. It is concluded that red mud is a more economic high-performance alternative than the other tested adsorption materials for applying a removal of multi-metal in seawater.


Adsorption;Lime stone;Multi-metals;Red mud;Seawater;Zeolite


Grant : Development of Sustainable Remediation Technology for Marine Contaminated Sediments

Supported by : Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries


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