Immobilization of Pb(II), Cd(II) and Ni(II) ions on kaolinite and montmorillonite surfaces from aqueous medium

Susmita Sen Gupta, Krishna G Bhattacharyya
Journal of Environmental Management 2008, 87 (1): 46-58
The present study investigates the immobilization of Pb(II), Cd(II) and Ni(II) on clays (kaolinite and montmorillonite) in aqueous medium through the process of adsorption under a set of variables (concentration of metal ion, amount of clay, pH, time and temperature of interaction). Increasing pH favours the removal of metal ions till they are precipitated as the insoluble hydroxides. The uptake is rapid with maximum adsorption being observed within 180 min for Pb(II) and Ni(II) and 240 min for Cd(II). A number of available models like the Lagergren pseudo first-order kinetics, second-order kinetics, Elovich equation, liquid film diffusion and intra-particle diffusion are utilized to evaluate the kinetics and the mechanism of the immobilization interactions. Two isotherm equations due to Langmuir and Freundlich showed good fits with the experimental data. Kaolinite and montmorillonite have considerable Langmuir monolayer capacity with respect to Pb(II), Cd(II) and Ni(II), the values being in the range of 6.8-11.5mg/g (kaolinite) and 21.1-31.1mg/g (montmorillonite). The Freundlich adsorption capacity follows a similar order. The thermodynamics of the immobilization process indicates the same to be exothermic with Pb(II) and Ni(II), but endothermic with Cd(II). The interactions with Pb(II) and Ni(II) are accompanied by decrease in entropy and Gibbs energy while the endothermic immobilization of Cd(II) is supported by an increase in entropy and an appreciable decrease in Gibbs energy. The results have established good potentiality for kaolinite and montmorillonite to remove heavy metals like Pb(II), Cd(II) and Ni(II) from aqueous medium through adsorption-mediated immobilization.

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