Geotechnical and Geological Engineering

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 253–262 | Cite as

Lead Removal from Aqueous Solution by Natural and Pretreated Zeolites

  • Ismael S. Ismael
  • Ahmed Melegy
  • Tomas Kratochvíl
Original paper


Hazardous metal cations enter water through the natural geochemical route or from the industrial wastes. Their separation and removal can be achieved by adsorptive accumulation of the cations on a suitable adsorbent. In the present work, toxic Pb(II) ions are removed from water by accumulating it on the surface of natural zeolite in three different forms; one untreated and two treated samples, one sample treated with 2 M HCI solution and other is treated with 3 M NaOH solution. Natural zeolite is mainly composed of clinoptilolite, and mordenite, with amount of non-zeolite phase (smectite and illite) and C and CT opal. The adsorption experiments are carried out using a batch process in environments of different pH, initial Pb(II) concentration, interaction time and amount of zeolites. Treated zeolite samples show high exchange capacity for Pb(II) compared to untreated sample, however, acid-treated sample shows an exceedingly good exchange capacity. Equilibrium data fitted well with the Langmuir isotherm model with maximum adsorption capacity of 115, 126, and 132 mg g−1 of untreated natural zeolites, alkali-treated zeolites and acid-treated zeolites respectively. The rates of adsorption were found to confirm to pseudo-first order kinetic with good correlation and the overall rate of lead ions uptake.


Natural zeolites Clinoptilolite Pb(II) removal Alkali-treated zeolites Acid-treated zeolites 


  1. Abdel-Halim SH, Shehata AMA, El-Shahat MF (2003) Removal of lead ions from industrial waste water by different types of natural materials. Water Res 37(7):1678–1683CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ackley MW, Rege SU, Saxena S (2002) Application of natural zeolites in the purification and separation of gases. Microporous Mesoporous Mater 61:25–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ahmet G, Ertan A, Ismail T (2007) Lead removal from aqueous solution by natural and pretreated clinoptilolite: adsorption equilibrium and kinetics. J Hazard Mater 146:362–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barbier F, Due GE, Petit-Ramel M (2000) Adsorption of lead and cadmium ions from aqueous solution to the montmorilonite/water interface. Colloid Surface Physicochem Eng Aspect 166:153–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bhattacharyya KG, Sen Gupta S (2007) Adsorption of Co(II) from aqueous medium on natural and acid activated kaolinite and montmorillonite. Sep Sci Tech 42:3391–3418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brigatti MF, Lugli C, Poppi L (2000) Kinetics of heavy metal removal and recovery in sepiolite. Appl Clay Sci 16:45–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown PA, Gill SA, Allen SJ (2000) Metal removal from wastewater using peat. Water Res 34(16):3907–3916CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Burns CA, Class PJ, Harding IH, Crawford RJ (1999) Adsorption of aqueous heavy metals onto carbonaceous substrate. Colloid Surface Physicochem Eng Aspect 155:63–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Castaldi P, Santona L, Cozza C, Giuliano V, Abbruzzese C, Nastro V, Melis P (2005) Thermal and spectroscopic studies of zeolites exchanged with metal cations. J Mol Struct 734:99–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chao CC, Rastelli H (1992) US Patent 5, 116:793Google Scholar
  11. Cheetan A, Day A (1992) Solid state chemistry compounds [M]. Oxford University Press Inc., New York, p 266Google Scholar
  12. Cooney DO (1998) Adsorption design for wastewater treatment. Lewis Publishers, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  13. El-Hendawy AA (2009) The role of surface chemistry and solution pH on the removal of Pb2+ and Cd2+ ions via effective adsorbents from low-cost biomass. J Hazard Mater 167(1–3):260–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Erdem E, Karapinar N, Donat R (2004) The removal of heavy metal cations by natural zeolites. J Colloid Interface Sci 280:309–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Garsia SA, Alastuey A, Querol X (1999) Heavy metal adsorption by different minerals: application to the remediation of polluted soils. Sci Total Environ 242:179–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gianneto G, Montes A, Rodríguez G (2000) Zeolitas Características, Propiedades y Aplicaciones Industriales, Innovación Tecnológica, Facultad de Ingeniería-UCV, Caracas, p 305Google Scholar
  17. Ho YS (2004) Citation review of Lagergren kinetic rate equation on adsorption reactions. Scientometrics 59:171–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ho YS, McKay G (1991) Batch lead(II) removal from aqueous solution by peat: equilibrium and kinetic. Trans I Chem E 77B:165–173Google Scholar
  19. Huesca RH, Diaz L, Armenta GA (1999) Adsorption equilibria and kinetics of CO2, CH4 and N2 in natural zeolites. Sep Purif Technol 15:163–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jiang M, Wang Q, Jin X, Chen Z (2009) Removal of Pb(II) from aqueous solution using modified and unmodified kaolinite clay. J Hazard Mater 170:332–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kallo D, Sherry H (eds) (1988) Occurrence, properties and utilisation of natural zeolites. Akadcmiai Kiado, BudapestGoogle Scholar
  22. Karabult S, Karabahan S, Denizli A, Yurum Y (2000) Batch removal of copper(II) and zinc(II) from aqueous solution with low-rank Turkish coals. Separ Purif Tech 18:177–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kratochvil T, Šucha V, Adamcová R, Janega A, Mátyás T (2008) Mineral composition and physical properties of altered rhyolite tuff from selected deposits of the southern part of Tokaj Mountains (Hungary)Google Scholar
  24. Lagergren S (1898) Zur theorie der sogenannten adsorption gelo¨ster stoffe, Kungliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademiens. Handlingar 24(4):1–39Google Scholar
  25. Langmuir I (1918) The adsorption of gases on plane surfaces of glass, mica, and platinum. J Am Chem Soc 40:1361–1403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. McKay G (1996) Use of adsorbents for the removal of pollutants from wastewaters. CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  27. Meenakshi S, Viswanathan N (2007) Identification of selective ion-exchange resin for fluoride sorption. J Colloidal Interface Sci 308:438–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Melegy A (2010) Adsorption of lead (II) and Zinc (II) from aqueous solution by bituminous coal. J Geotech Geol Eng 8(5):549CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Meshko V, Markovska LJ, Marinkovski M (2006) Experimental study and modelling of zinc adsorption by granular activated carbon and natural zeolite. Int J Environ Pollut 27(4):285–299Google Scholar
  30. Mihaila G, Barbu HC, Lutic D, Sava MI (1997) Adsorption of sulphur dioxide on clinoptilolite volcanic tuff. In: Kirov G, Filizova L, Petrov O (eds) Natural Zeolites-Sofia ’95. Bulgaria, pp. 146–152Google Scholar
  31. Mishra PC, Patel RK (2009) Removal of lead and zinc ions from water by low cost adsorbents. J Hazard Mater 168:319–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mohan D, Singh KP (2002) Single- and multi-component adsorption of cadmium and zinc using activated carbon derived from bagasse–an agricultural waste. Water Res 36:2304–2318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Molnár F, Zelenka T, Mátyás E, Pécskay Z, Bajnóczi B, Kiss J, Horváth I (1999) Epithermal mineralization of the Tokaj Mountains, Northeast Hungary: shallow levels of low–sulfidation type systems In: Thompson TB (ed), Guidebook Prepared for the Society of Economic Geologist, Filed Conference 4–13 September, Miskolc, Society of Economic Geologist, pp 109–127Google Scholar
  34. Mon J, Deng Y, Flury M, Harsh JB (2005) Cesium incorporation and diffusion in cancrinite, sodalite, zeolite and allophane. Micropor Mesopor Mater 86:277–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mondales KD, Carland RM, Aplan FF (1995) The comparative ion exchange capacities of natural sedimentary and synthetic zeolites. Miner Eng 8:535–548CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nadeem M, Nadeem R, Nadeem HU, Shah SS (2005) Accumulation of lead and cadmium in different organs of chicken. Pak J Sci Res 57:71Google Scholar
  37. Oste LA, Lexmond TM, VanRiemsdijk WH (2002) Metal immobilization in soils using synthetic zeolites. J Environ Qual 31:813–821CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Patterson JW (1985) Industrial wastewater treatment technology. Butterworth Publishers, StonehamGoogle Scholar
  39. Petrus R, Warchol JK (2003) Ion exchange equilibria between clinoptilolite and aqueous solutions of Na+/Cu2+, Na+/Cd2+ and Na+/Pb2+. Micropor Mesopor Mater 61:137–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Ramos RL, Jacome LAB, Barron JM, Rubio LF, Coronado RMG (2002) Adsorption of zinc(II) from an aqueous solution onto activated carbon, J Hazard. Mater 90:27–38Google Scholar
  41. Semmens MJ (1983) Cation-exchange properties of natural zeolite. In: Pond WG, Mumpton FA (eds) Zeo-agriculture: use of natural zeolitein agriculture and aquaculture. West view Press, Boulder, pp 45–53Google Scholar
  42. Terzano R, Spagnuolo M, Medici L, Dorrine W, Janssens K, Ruggiero P (2007) Microscopic single particle characterization of zeolites synthesized in a soil polluted by copper or cadmium and treated with coal flay ash. Appl Clay Sci 35:128–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Worrl WE (1968) Textbook of clays: their nature, origin and general properties. Macharen and Sons, LondonGoogle Scholar
  44. Yavuz O, Altunkaynak Y, Guzel F (2003) Removal of copper, nickel, cobalt and manganese from aqueous solution by kaolinite. Water Res 36:948–952CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ismael S. Ismael
    • 1
  • Ahmed Melegy
    • 2
  • Tomas Kratochvíl
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of ScienceSuez Canal UniversitySuezEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Geological SciencesNational Research CentreDokki, CairoEgypt
  3. 3.Faculty of Natural ScienceComenius UniversityBratislavaSlovak Republic

Personalised recommendations