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Enhanced Adsorption of Fluoride from Aqueous Solution Using an Iron-Modified Attapulgite Adsorbent

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Attapulgite modified with iron was used as an adsorbent for fluoride removal from aqueous solutions. The pristine attapulgite and the iron-modified attapulgite composite were characterized by X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) techniques, and the pH point of zero charge measurement. The XRD analysis indicates the existence of iron oxide hydroxide (FeO[OH]) in the iron-modified attapulgite composite. The FT-IR spectra of the iron-modified attapulgite composite before and after adsorption indicate that the involvement of the hydroxide radical in the fluoride adsorption. The effects of pH, contact time, initial concentration, and temperature on fluoride adsorption by the adsorbent were studied in a batch system. Kinetics studies show that the fluoride adsorption kinetics over the adsorbent is well-described by the pseudo-second-order kinetic model. The fluoride adsorption isotherm is well-fitted by the Langmuir model. Desorption studies show that the iron-modified attapulgite adsorbent can be easily regenerated at pH 12.5. The adsorption mechanism is discussed in detail.

Keywords: adsorption; adsorption mechanism; clay; fluoride; iron-modified attapulgite

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1:  School of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan, China. 2:  Wuhan Second Ship Design and Research Institute, Wuhan, China.

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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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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