Investigation of Cu (II) Removal from Synthetic Solution by Ion Exchange Using South African Clinoptilolite

  • John Kabuba
  • Edison Muzenda
  • Freeman Ntuli
  • Antoine Mulaba-Bafubiandi
Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE, volume 170)


The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of NaCl, KCl and acid (HCl), on South Africa clinoptilolite used as an adsorbent in the ion-exchange process for the removal of cations (Cu II) from wastewater. The kinetic parameters such as ∆H, ∆S and ∆G affecting the adsorption of Cu (II) ions were studied. The adsorption of Cu (II) from synthetic waste water was found to be dependent on pH, temperature, contact time and initial adsorbate concentration. The pH was varied from 2.5–6 and the optimum pH for Cu (II) removal was found to be 4.0. The removal of Cu (II) ions increased with time and attained saturation in about 60–70 min. The equilibrium data showed that the adsorption was endothermic in nature. Kinetics data showed that at higher temperatures, the rate of adsorption is higher for the clinoptilolite in natural zeolite and that Langmuir equation successfully described the adsorption process.


Adsorption Clinoptilolite Copper removal Langmuir equation Ion exchange Kinetics Saturation 



The authors acknowledge financial support from the University of Johannesburg.


  1. 1.
    Muzenda E, Kabuba J, Ntuli F., Mollagee M., Mulaba Bafubiandi AF (2011) Cu(II) removal from synthetic waste water by ion exchange process. In: Proceedings of the world congress on engineering and computer science 2011, WCECS 2011, 19–21 October 2011 (Lecture notes in engineering and computer science). San Francisco, pp 685–689Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Clement RE, Eiceman GA, Koester CJ (1995) Environmental analysis. Anal Chem 67:221–255Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Massadeh AM, Baker HM (2008) Natural Jordanian zeolite: removal of heavy metal ions from water samples using column and batch methods. J Environ Monit Assess 157:319–330Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Akar T, Tunali S (2005) Biosorption performance of Botrytis cinerea fungal by-products for removal of Cd (II) and Cu (II) ions from aqueous solutions. Mineral Eng 18:1099–1109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Norton L, Baskaran K, McKenzie T (2004) Biosorption of zinc from aqueous solutions using bio solids. Adv Environ Res 8:629–635CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chong KH, Volesky B (1995) Description of 2–metal bio sorption equilibrium by Langmuir- type models. Biotechnol Bioeng 47:451–460Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hui KS, Chao CYH, Kot CS (2005) Removal of mixed heavy metal ions in wastewater by zeolite 4A and residual products from recycled coal fly ash. J Hazard Mater 127:89–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Matis KA, Lazaridis NK, Zouboulis AI, Gallios GP, Mavrov V (2005) A hybrid flotation-microfiltration process for metal ions recovery. J Memb Sci 247:29–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Tewari DK, Behari J, Sen P (2008) Application of nanoparticles in wastewater treatment. World Appl Sci J 3:417–433Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Argun ME (2008) Use of clinoptilolite for the removal of nickel ions from water. Kinetics and thermodynamics. J Hazard Mater 150:585–595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ozay O, Ekici S, Baran Y, Aktas N, Sahiner N (2009) Removal of toxic metal ions with magnetic hydrogels. Water Res 43:4403–4441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Altin O, Ozbelge HO, Dogu T (1998) Use of general purpose adsorption isotherms for heavy metal-clay mineral interactions. J Colloid Interf Sci 198:130–140Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Barci S (2004) Nature of ammonium ion adsorption by sepiolite: analysis of equilibrium data with several isotherms. Water Res 38:1129–1138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mamba BB, Nyembe DW, Mulaba-Bafubiandi, AF (2009) Removal of copper and cobalt from aqueous solutions using natural clinoptilolite. Water SA 35(3):307–314Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Korkuna O, Leboda R, Skubiszewska J, Vrublevs’ka T, Gun’ko VM, Ryczkowski J (2006) Structural and physicochemical properties of natural zeolites: clinoptilolite and mordenite. Microporous Mesoporous Mater 87:243–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Vasylechko VO, Gryshchouk GV, Lebedynets LO, Leboda R, Skubiszewska-Zieba J (1999) Investigation of usefulness of Transcarpathian zeolites in trace analysis of waters. Application of mordenite for the pre concentration of trace amounts of copper and cadmium. Chem Anal (Warsaw) 44:1013–1024Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hernandez MA (2000) Nitrogen-sorption characteristics of the microporous structure of clinoptilolite-type zeolites. J Porous Master 7:443–454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Dyer H (1981) The plotting and interpretation of ion-exchange isotherms in charcoal systems. Sep Sci Technol 16:173–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Kabuba
    • 1
  • Edison Muzenda
    • 1
  • Freeman Ntuli
    • 1
  • Antoine Mulaba-Bafubiandi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, School of Mining, Metallurgy and Chemical Engineering, Minerals Processing and Technology Research CenterUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations