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The usage of a zeolitic composite for quality improvement of copper contaminated mining wastewaters

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In this paper, a new material based on zeolite has been investigated in an attempt to explore the possibility of using it as an efficient adsorbent of copper(II) from industrial wastewater. This composite material is composed of volcanic tuff (containing 83 % zeolite) and cellulose in a 4 to 1 ratio. The performances of the new adsorbent composite have been examined against those of a common adsorbent, the zeolitic volcanic tuff. The adsorption studies were carried out in a batch process at room temperature, and the effect of various parameters (i.e., initial concentration, contact time, adsorbent dosage and pH) was tested. The experimental data have been modeled with Langmuir, Freundlich and Temkin isotherms. The results correspond to Langmuir model showing a monolayer adsorption with a maximum adsorption capacity of 12.74 mg g−1 at 25 °C. The copper adsorption onto zeolitic composite was well described by a pseudo-second order kinetic model. The experimental results indicate a superior adsorption of copper(II) onto the new adsorbent when compared against the common zeolite.

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The authors acknowledge the financial support of the project HURO/0901/126/2.2.3 NETECOWAT financed by EU under the framework of Hungary-Romania Cross-border Cooperation Programme.

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Correspondence to L. Pitulice.

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Dascălu, D., Pitulice, L., Ionel, R. et al. The usage of a zeolitic composite for quality improvement of copper contaminated mining wastewaters. Int. J. Environ. Sci. Technol. 12, 2285–2298 (2015).

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  • Copper
  • Mine wastewater
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Zeolite
  • Adsorption