Heavy Metals Removal Using Natural Jordanian Volcanic Tuff

Jamal. A. Radaideh, Prof. Matthias Barjenbruch, Stephanie Patzer, Ziad Shatnawi


The removal performance and the selectivity sequence of separate metal ions (Fe2+, Cr3+, Cu2+, Zn2+ and Ni2+) in aqueous solution were studied by adsorption process on untreated and natural volcanic tuff. A series of experiments were conducted in batch-wise and fixed-bed columns to investigate the removal efficiency of natural Jordanian volcanic tuff as low cost and an effective adsorbent for heavy metal ions and to examine its economical application in water purification and treatment practices.

Water and wastewater samples containing metal ions with concentrations ranging from 1 to 15 mg/L were used. The plexi glas columns were filled with natural occurring volcanic tuff particles ranging between (0.350 – 3.000) mm. Photometric methods were used for laboratory analysis of samples.
The experiments were carried out under changing conditions as a function of different pH-values (2,4,6 and 7), initial solute concentrations (1, 5, 10, 15) mg/L, and different room temperatures (20, 25 and 30 Cº ), and varying tuff particle sizes (0.35 -3.0) mm. The breakthrough curves were derived by plotting the normalized effluent metal concentrations (C/C0) versus bed volume.

Obtained results showed that natural Jordanian volcanic tuff has an adsorption capacity of 0.417 mg/g for Fe 2+ and 0.151mg/g for C 2+. Factors in the reaction medium such as pH and ionic strength influenced the adsorption process. The quantity of particular ionic species (Cu2+, Pb2+, Cr2+ ,Fe2+, Zn2+) bound in dependence on the initial concentrations, indicates that the removal efficiency from the liquid phase follows the sequence Fe2+>Cu2+>Pb2+> Cr2+>Zn2+ when keeping the pH at 4 and follows the sequence Cu2+>Zi2+>Fe2+>Cr2+>Pb2+ when keeping the pH at 6. Equilibrium modeling of the removal showed that the adsorption of the metal cations Cr2+, Pb2+, Zn2+ , Cu2+ and Fe2+ were fitted to one of the adsorption isotherms.


Natural volcanic tuff, heavy metals, sorption, ion exchange, water, wastewater, Jordan.

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