Optimizing Ammonia Removal from Landfill Leachate Using Natural and Synthetic Zeolite Through Statically Designed Experiment

  • Mohammad Arif Budiman Pauzan
  • Mohd Hafiz PutehEmail author
  • Ali Yuzir
  • Mohd Hafiz Dzarfan Othman
  • Roswanira Abdul Wahab
  • Muzaffar Zainal Abideen
Research Article - Civil Engineering


Water is an essential commodity that supports the very existence of life on earth; hence, contamination of ground and water bodies with harmful substances liberated by landfill leachate can seriously impact the environment and well-being of mankind. In this context, explorations in search of economically attractive avenues to treat landfill leachate merit scientific pertinence. A response surface methodology approach based on a three-factor three-level central composite design was applied to compare and optimize the removal of ammoniacal nitrogen (NH3–N) from landfill leachate. In this study, the efficacy of natural zeolite, clinoptilolite, and synthetic zeolite, Sigma 96096, as adsorbents was investigated for parameters, viz. zeolite dosage, particle size, and ratio of leachate to distilled water, respectively. Under optimized conditions, clinoptilolite (2 g/L, 50 μm, and 50%) and Sigma 96096 (4 g/L, 150 μm, and 50%) effectively removed 58.2% and 37.8% of NH3–N, respectively. The equilibrium isotherms of both sorbents for the sorption of NH3–N were also well described by the Freundlich and Langmuir adsorption isotherms, respectively. The study found clinoptilolite was more efficient than Sigma 96096 in removing NH3–N, envisaging its suitability for complementing the current treatment processes to treat landfill leachate.


Zeolite Leachate Ammoniacal nitrogen Response surface methodology (RSM) Adsorption isotherm 



This study was funded by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), Malaysia, and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) under GUP Grant Tier-1 with Vot No. 09H03 and Tier-2 with Vot No. 07J11. The authors are thankful to the Environmental Engineering Department of Faculty of Civil Engineering and the Institute of Water and Resource Management, UTM, for allowing researchers to work in the laboratory.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 2683 kb)


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Copyright information

© King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Engineering, School of Civil Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringUniversiti Teknologi MalaysiaJohor BahruMalaysia
  2. 2.Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT)Universiti Teknologi MalaysiaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC)Universiti Teknologi MalaysiaJohor BahruMalaysia
  4. 4.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of ScienceUniversiti Teknologi MalaysiaJohor BahruMalaysia

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