Treatment of wastewaters contaminated with zinc ions using natural zeolite as adsorbent in a fixed bed column

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The potential of natural zeolite as a low-cost adsorbent was investigated for the removal of zinc from aqueous solution using a continuous fixed bed column. The zeolite tested was taken from the same source (Jabal Uniza in south Jordan) and subjected to crushing and sieving only, without any treatment. The two samples tested are UNZ1 (0.42–0.841 mm) and UNZ2 (0.21–0.42 mm). The Thomas model analysis of the measured breakthrough curves revealed that the adsorbent UNZ2 has a higher value of adsorption capacity to zinc ions (50.75 mg/g) than UNZ1 (33.68 mg/g). The time to 50% breakthrough was determined by the Yoon and Nelson model. It has been found that the time needed to reach 50% breakthrough is 2,006 minutes and 3,171 minutes for UNZ1 and UNZ2, respectively. This indicated that UNZ2 provides better performance with larger service time. Both UNZ1 and UNZ2 agreed to a high degree with the Thomas and Yoon and Nelson models.

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