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Removal of Pb(II) from Aqueous Solutions by Zeolites, Porcelanite and Sands: Correlation of Morphology and Chemical Composition to Batch Removal Efficiency

Removal of Pb(II) from Aqueous Solutions by Zeolites, Porcelanite and Sands: Correlation of Morphology and Chemical Composition to Batch Removal Efficiency


Fawwaz Jumean1*, Lucia Pappalardo1, Hani Khoury2


1Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences, American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
2Department of Geology, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan.


Chemical compositions of natural zeolites, porcelanite (opal-CT) and local sands were determined by X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and correlated with their Pb(II) removal efficiencies. Zeolites and porcelanite were from the Mikawer, Aritain and Hannon areas in Jordan. Sands (white, red and yellow) were from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The effect of Pb(II) concentration and zeolite dosage on removal efficiency was investigated at 25.0°C using the batch equilibrium method. Commercial kaolinite, silica and alumina were also studied for comparison. Removal efficiencies, in mg Pb(II)/g adsorbent, were: 76.9, 52.7 and 42.1 for Hannon, Mikawer and Aritain zeolites, respectively; 58.2 for porcelanite; 29.7, 11.0 and 8.5 for yellow, red and white sand, respectively; 7.2, 3.3 and 1.3 for kaolinite, silica and alumina, respectively. XRF data indicate that adsorbents with intermediate molar ratios of Si/Al, in the range 2.70 – 2.93, are most efficient in Pb(II) removal. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of adsorbents suggest that morphology, in addition to chemical composition, plays a key role. In particular, a combination of factors, including shapes and sizes of crystals, channels in zeolites and pores in porcelanite, appear to favor removal of Pb(II).


Zeolites, Sands, XRF, SEM, Pb(II) Removal

Cite this paper

Jumean, F. , Pappalardo, L. and Khoury, H. (2015) Removal of Pb(II) from Aqueous Solutions by Zeolites, Porcelanite and Sands: Correlation of Morphology and Chemical Composition to Batch Removal Efficiency. American Journal of Analytical Chemistry, 6, 297-304. doi: 10.4236/ajac.2015.64028.


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