Research on Chemical Intermediates

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 2253–2272 | Cite as

Vanadium separation with activated carbon and iron/activated carbon nanocomposites in fixed bed column: experimental and modelling study

  • Hakimeh Sharififard
  • Mansooreh Soleimani
  • Francesco Pepe


In this work, iron nanoparticles were impregnated onto a commercial activated carbon surface to produce a novel adsorbent called iron-activated carbon nanocomposite (I-AC). Commercial activated carbon (CAC) and I-AC were used for vanadium separation in a fixed-bed column. The effects of various operating parameters such as inlet vanadium ion concentration, adsorbent dose and volumetric flow rate on vanadium separation performance of CAC were investigated. The performance of both adsorbents was compared in three adsorption/desorption cycles. The experimental breakthrough curves of vanadium ions in the fixed-bed column were modeled using the film-pore-surface diffusion model (FPSDM). The four mass transfer parameters characterizing this model, namely the external mass-transfer coefficient (k f ), pore and surface diffusion coefficients (D p and D s ), and axial dispersion coefficient (D L ) were evaluated through the model. Modelling and experimental results showed that the I-AC nanocomposite has a better performance for vanadium separation in comparison to AC. Sensitivity analysis on the FPSDM showed that the pore and surface diffusion, external mass transfer and axial dispersion play a significant role in vanadium separation using the I-AC. On the other hand, surface diffusion resulted to be relatively less important when CAC was used.


Adsorption breakthrough curves I-AC nanocomposite Vanadium FPSDM model 



The authors acknowledge with a great degree of appreciation that this project was financially supported by a research grant (research project No. 61736) from the Iran Nano Technology Initiative Council, Iran. The authors sincerely thank Professors Paolo Aprea and Bruno de Gennaro for providing and their assistance in column experiments and analyzing the samples by ICP.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hakimeh Sharififard
    • 1
  • Mansooreh Soleimani
    • 1
  • Francesco Pepe
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringAmirkabir University of TechnologyTehranIran
  2. 2.Dipartimento di IngegneriaUniversità del SannioBeneventoItaly

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