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Removal of Humic Substances from Water by Means of Calcium-Ion-Enriched Natural Zeolites

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The ability of the natural zeolited Neapolitan Yellow Tuff (NYT) enriched with calcium ions to remove humic acids from water was evaluated by batch adsorption equilibrium tests and dynamic experiments carried out by percolating humic acid solutions through a small NYT column (breakthrough curves). Under the experimental condition explored, the sorption capacity increases with the ionic strength and has the highest value at pH 7.4. The partition coefficient for a low concentration of humic acid ([humic acid] → 0), at pH 7.4 in 0.01 M sodium chloride, was approximately 1000 L/kg, versus the value of approximately 100 L/kg in the absence of the alkaline metal salt. Therefore, after humic acids have been adsorbed in a column filled with the calcium-ion-enriched tuff, a reduction of the salt concentration in the ongoing solution enhances the release of the adsorbed material. These findings show that NYT can be used for the removal of humic acids from water.

Keywords: Neapolitan Yellow Tuff; adsorption; humic acids; water purification; zeolite

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-03-01

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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