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Preparation of modified Chinese medical stone and its performance on the removal of low-concentration ammonium from water

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The ammonium ion occurrence in excess consequences in the adverse effects on the ecosystem, and human health. The experiment was conducted using the Chinese medical stone to remove ammonium ion from the water. The Chinese medical stone was modified by citric acid monohydrate and designed to identify the ammonium ion uptake capacity by the MMS and focused on evaluating the adsorption and kinetics isotherm, modifier’s concentration, contact time and initial concentration effects on MMS performance. The modification process was well-appointed by mixing and shaking at 180 rpm; at 60 °C; for eighth, at mixing ratio 1:20 of the UMMS with 0.2 mol concentration of citric acid monohydrate solution. The optimum adsorption performance was determined using Beaker sequence batch test method. The SEM micrographs; BET and FTIR of UMMS and MMS tests have undertaken and evaluated. The result showed that the maximum adsorption amount of MMS to ammonium ions was 5.38 mg/g at 50 mg/L ammonium ion concentration by the experiment, and the qe max was 3.5 mg/g from Langmuir equation. The ammonium adsorption by the MMS had fitted for both the Langmuir isotherm and the Freundlich isotherm models and also adapted to the kinetic parameter pseudo-second-order model shows a superior expectation of the sorption kinetics.

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Modified medical stone


Unmodified medical stone


Citric acid monohydrate


The Chinese medical stone

Q e :

The equilibrium uptake for ammonium

C 0 :

The initial concentration (mg/L)

V :

Volume (mL)

C e :

The final concentration of adsorbate in the equilibrium solution (mg/L)

q m :

The maximum adsorption capacity of the adsorbent (mg/g)

k :

The adsorption energy coefficient (L/mg)


Regarding dimensionless equilibrium

K :

The Langmuir constant (L/mg)

kF and n :

Freundlich constants (L/mg)

qe and qt :

The adsorption capacity at equilibrium at the time (mg/g)

K 1 :

The rate constant of the pseudo-first-order model (min−1)

q t :

The amount of adsorbent adsorbed at contact time t (h) (mg/g)

K 2 :

The pseudo-second-order rate constant [g (mg/h)]


Fourier transform IR


Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET)


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This study was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation China (Grant No. 51679041).

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Correspondence to Xinshan Song.

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Arefe, A., Song, X., Wang, Y. et al. Preparation of modified Chinese medical stone and its performance on the removal of low-concentration ammonium from water. Res Chem Intermed (2020).

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  • Adsorption
  • Ammonium removal
  • Citric acid monohydrate
  • Chinese medical stone
  • Modification