Removal of thorium from aqueous solutions by sodium clinoptilolite


Adsorptive behavior of natural clinoptilolite was assessed for removal of thorium from aqueous solutions. Natural zeolite was characterized by X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence. The zeolite sample composed mainly of clinoptilolite. Na-exchanged form of zeolite was prepared and its sorption capacity for removal of thorium from aqueous solutions was examined. The effects of relevant parameters, including initial concentration, contact time, solid to liquid ratio, temperature and initial pH on the removal efficiency were investigated in batch studies. The pH strongly influenced thorium adsorption capacity and maximal capacity was obtained at pH 4.0. Kinetics and isotherm of adsorption were also studied. The pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order, Elovich and intra-particle diffusion models were used to describe the kinetic data. The pseudo-second-order kinetic model provided excellent kinetic data fitting (R 2 > 0.999) with rate constant of 1.25, 1.37 and 1.44 g mmol−1 min−1 respectively for 25, 40 and 55 °C. The Langmuir and Freundlich models were applied to describe the equilibrium isotherms for thorium uptake and the Langmuir model agrees very well with experimental data. Thermodynamic parameters were determined and are discussed.

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The authors wish to thank the Office of Graduate Studies of the University of Isfahan for their support. The authors thank Mrs. M. Akbari for his help in the XRD and XRF analysis in Central Laboratory of University of Isfahan, and Mr. R. Sayyari for help in the ICP analysis.

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Correspondence to Hossein Faghihian or Mahdi Kamali.

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Khazaei, Y., Faghihian, H. & Kamali, M. Removal of thorium from aqueous solutions by sodium clinoptilolite. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 289, 529–536 (2011).

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  • Thorium
  • Clinoptilolite
  • Adsorption
  • Langmuir and Freundlich models