Acta Geochimica

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 120–130 | Cite as

Synthesis of zinc oxide–montmorillonite composite and its effect on the removal of aqueous lead ions

  • Davidson E. EgiraniEmail author
  • Nanfe R. Poyi
  • Napoleon Wessey
Original Article


Lead adsorption of zinc oxide-coated ACOR montmorillonite was investigated in batches and under reducing conditions at ambient temperature. The presence of zinc oxide coating significantly enhanced the adsorption of Pb2+ ions by ACOR montmorillonite. Characterization of adsorbents involved the use of X-ray diffraction, sodium saturation techniques, coulter laser analysis, scanning electron microscopy, and electron dispersive spectroscopy. Synthesis involved the trimetric process, activation of the ACOR montmorillonite and reacting of the same with zinc nitrate to produce a zinc oxide composite solid at 450 °C. The reaction mechanism indicated less than one proton coefficient, and higher mass transfer rates, when compared with bare montmorillonite. Intraparticle diffusion was higher than the value recorded for the bare montmorillonite. Reactions based on initial Pb2+ concentration indicated that coated montmorillonite gradually became saturated as the concentration was increased. Reactions based on solid concentration demonstrated a complex change in the capacity of adsorption over different Pb2+ concentrations (10–40 mg L−1) and solid concentrations (2–10 g L−1). The specific surface area reduction, particle size increase, mineral aggregation, and concentration gradient effect controlled the complex changes in adsorption.


Synthesis Characterization Zinc oxide–montmorillonite composite Adsorption, Pb2+ ions 



The authors remain grateful to the Niger Delta University for the usual research allowances provided for the running of research projects.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Geochemistry, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of ScienceNiger Delta UniversityWilberforce IslandNigeria
  2. 2.Nigerian Institute of Mining and GeosciencesJosNigeria

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