Assessment of TiO2 photoactivity on the lead removal: kinetic and mechanistic processing
Removal of lead ions from aqueous solutions, in the presence and in absence of commercial TiO2, under UV-light was studied. The influence of catalyst mass, concentration of Pb(II) ions and of citric acid in the starting solution as well as the impact of illumination conditions on the removal rate were also investigated. The results were fitted on the pseudo-first order, pseudo-second order and Elovich kinetic models, Weber-Morris intraparticle and liquid film diffusion models, in order to establish the photoreduction mechanism. The Pb removal rate increased in time by a combined linear-exponential mechanism. The catalyst had a positive influence on the removal rate at the start of the photoreduction. At a low concentration of Pb(II) ions (20 mg/L), the amount of photoreduced Pb(II) ions was proportional to the concentration of the citric acid solution, but at high concentrations (240 mg/L), the correlation was inversely proportional. The rate limiting steps in the removal of lead were both the photoreduction on the TiO2 surface and the diffusion through the film surrounding the catalyst particle. The lead removal was significantly influenced by the mobility and by the concentration of the species in solution.