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Adsorption kinetics of chromium(III) removal from aqueous solutions using natural red earth


Laboratory-scale-simulated experiments were carried out using Cr(III) solutions to identify the Cr(III) retention behavior of natural red earth (NRE), a natural soil available in the northwestern coastal belt of Sri Lanka. The effects of solution pH, initial Cr(III) concentration and the contact time were examined. The NRE showed almost 100 % Cr(III) adsorption within the first 90 min. [initial [Cr(III)] = 0.0092–0.192 mM; initial pH 4.0–9.0]. At pH 2 (298 K), when particle size ranged from 125 to 180 μm the Cr(III) adsorption data were modeled according to Langmuir convention assuming site homogeneity. The pH-dependent Cr(III) adsorption data were quantified by diffused layer model assuming following reaction stoichiometries:

$$ \begin{aligned} 2\, {>}{\text{AlOH}}_{{({\text{s}})}} + {\text{ Cr }}\left( {\text{OH}} \right)_{{ 2\,({\text{aq}})}}^{ + } \, \to \, \left( { {>}{\text{AlO}}} \right)_{ 2} {\text{Cr}}_{{({\text{s}})}}^{ + } + {\text{ 2H}}_{ 2} {\text{O}} \quad {\text{log K 15}}. 5 6\\ 2\, {>}{\text{FeOH}}_{{({\text{s}})}} + {\text{ Cr}}\left( {\text{OH}} \right)_{{ 2\,({\text{aq}})}}^{ + } \, \to \, \left( { {>}{\text{FeO}}} \right)_{ 2} {\text{Cr}}_{{({\text{s}})}}^{ + } + {\text{ 2H}}_{ 2} {\text{O}}\quad {\text{log K 5}}.0 8.\\ \end{aligned} $$

The present data showed that NRE can effectively be used to mitigate Cr(III) from aqueous solutions and this method is found to be simple, effective, economical and environmentally benign.

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R.C. and C.B.D. gratefully acknowledged the Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Foundation, Germany for the donation of a Varian 240FS Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer used in this work.

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Correspondence to Rohana Chandrajith.

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Nikagolla, C., Chandrajith, R., Weerasooriya, R. et al. Adsorption kinetics of chromium(III) removal from aqueous solutions using natural red earth. Environ Earth Sci 68, 641–645 (2013).

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  • Natural red earth
  • Chromium(III)
  • Surface complexation
  • Diffuse layer model (DLM)