, Volume 295, Issue 3, pp 1969-1979

Application of NKF-6 zeolite for the removal of U(VI) from aqueous solution

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Abstract

To better understand the application of NKF-6 zeolite as an adsorbent for the removal of U(VI) from radionuclides and heavy metal ions polluted water, herein, NKF-6 zeolite was employed to remove U(VI) at different experimental conditions. The influence of solid/liquid ratio, contact time, pH, ionic strength, humic substances and temperature on sorption of U(VI) to NKF-6 zeolite was investigated using batch technique under ambient conditions. The experimental results demonstrated that the sorption of U(VI) on NKF-6 zeolite was strongly dependent on pH. The sorption property of U(VI) was influenced by ionic strength at pH < 7.0, whereas was independent of ionic strength at pH > 7.0. The presence of fulvic acid or humic acid promoted the sorption of U(VI) on NKF-6 zeolite at low pH values while restrained the sorption at high pH values. The thermodynamic parameters (i.e., ΔS 0, ΔH 0, and ΔG 0) calculated from the temperature-dependent sorption isotherms demonstrated that the sorption process of U(VI) on NKF-6 zeolite was endothermic and spontaneous. At low pH values, the sorption of U(VI) was dominated by outer-sphere surface complexation and ion exchange with Na+/H+ on NKF-6 zeolite surfaces, while inner-sphere surface complexation was the main sorption mechanism at high pH values. From the experimental results, one can conclude that NKF-6 zeolite can be used as a potential adsorbent for the preconcentration and solidification of U(VI) from large volumes of aqueous solutions.