pH Dependence of Lead Adsorption on Zeolites


The adsorption of Pb on zeolites A4, X, Y and mordenite was studied at various initial pH with the purpose of assessing the pH dependence of Pb adsorption. The adsorption was conducted using 0 - 0.6 mM Pb(NO3)2 in the presence of 100 mM NH4NO3 and pH adjustment done using HNO3. The coexisting NH4NO3 served as a representative of other cations available in nature. The study was conducted at initial solution pH ranging from 3 - 5. Adsorption results were analyzed using Langmuir isotherm analysis. Adsorption was noted to be dependent on pH with increasing adsorption as pH increased from 3 - 5 for zeolites A4, X and Y. The adsorption of Pb on mordenite on the other hand did not show any dependence on pH since it was almost constant within the studied pH range. The adsorptive capacities were 2500, 2000, 588 and 179 mmol·kg-1 for A4, X, Y and mordenite, respectively. The results of this study can be used in designing or planning for the clean-up of polluted water using adsorption techniques. An important attribute of these findings was that the samples studied were shown to have the capacity of removing even very low concentration of Pb, a property which is hardly achievable by most adsorbents.

Share and Cite:

Kabwadza-Corner, P. , Johan, E. and Matsue, N. (2015) pH Dependence of Lead Adsorption on Zeolites. Journal of Environmental Protection, 6, 45-53. doi: 10.4236/jep.2015.61006.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Schneegurt, M.A., Jain, J.C., Menicucci, J.A., Brown, S.A., Kemner, K.M., Garofalo, D.F., Quallick, M.R., Neal, C.R. and Kulpa, C.F. (2001) Biomass Byproducts for the Remediation of Wastewaters Contaminated with Toxic Metals. Environmental Science & Technology, 35, 3786-3791.
[2] EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) (1990) Environmental Pollution Control Alternatives, EPA/625/4-90/025, EPA 625/4-89/023, Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati.
[3] AL-Othman, Z.A., Naushad, M. and Nilchi, A. (2011) Development, Characterisation and Ion Exchange Thermodynamics for a New Crystalline Composite Cation Exchange Material; Application for the Removal of Pb2+ Ion from a Standard Samples (Rompin Hematite). Inorganic and Organomeallic Polymers, 21, 547-559.
[4] Djedidi, Z., Bouda, M., Souissi, M.A., Cheikh, R.B., Mercier, G., Tyagi, R.D. and Blais, J.F. (2009) Metals Removal from Soil, Fly Ash and Sewage Sludge Leachates by Precipitation and Dewatering Properties of the Generated Sludge. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 172, 1372-1382.
[5] Lin, S.W. and Navarro, R.M.F. (1999) An Innovative Method for Removing Hg2+ and Pb in ppm Concentrations from Aqueous Media. Chemosphere, 39, 1809-1817.
[6] Al Othman, Z.A. and Naushad Inamuddin, M. (2011) Organic-in-Organic Type Composite Cation Exchanger Poly-o-Toluidine Zr(iv) Tungstate: Preparation, Physiochemical Characterization and Its Analytical Application in Separation of Heavy Metals. Journal of Chemical Engineering, 172, 369-375.
[7] Aljendeel, H.A. (2011) Removal of Heavy Metals Using Reverse Osmosis. Journal of Engineering, 17, 647-658.
[8] O’Connell, D.W., Birkinshaw, C. and O’Dwyer, T.F. (2008) Heavy Metal Adsorbents Prepared from the Modification of Cellulose: A Review. Bioresource Technology, 99, 6709-6724.
[9] Ghaedi, M., Biyareh, M.N., Kokhdan, S.N., Shamsaldini, S.H., Sahraei, R., Daneshfar, A. and Shahriyar, S. (2012) Comparison of the Efficiency of Palladium and Silver Nanoparticles Loaded on Activated Carbon and Zinc Oxide Nano Rods as New Adsorbents for Removal of Congo Red from Aqueous Solution: Kinetic and Isotherm Study. Material Science and Engineering, C32, 725-734.
[10] Irani, M.D., Amjadi, M. and Mousavian, A.M.D. (2011) Comparative Study of Lead Sorption onto Natural Perlite, Dolomite and Diatomite. Chemical Engineering Journal, 178, 317-323.
[11] Hodi, M., Polyak, K. and Htavay, J. (1995) Removal of Pollutants from Drinking Water by Combined Ion-Exchange and Adsorption Methods. Environment International, 21, 325-331.
[12] Igwe, J.C. and Abia, A.A. (2003) Maize Cob and Husk as Adsorbents for Removal of Cadmium, Lead and Zinc Ions from Wastewater. The Physical Scientist, 2, 210-215.
[13] Sun, G. and Shi, W.X. (1998) Sunflower Stalk as Adsorbents for the Removal of Metal Ions from Waste Water. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 37, 1324-1328.
[14] Zouboulis, A.I., Matis, K.A. and Stalidis, G.A. (1992) Flotation Methods and Techniques in Wastewater. In: Mavros, P. and Matis, K.A., Eds., Innovations in Flotation Technology, Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 96-104.
[15] Mohamed, R., Selim, E.M. and Azaad Faiz, F. (2012) Removal of Some Environmental Pollutants from Aqueous Solutions by Linde-Zeolite: Adsorption and Kinetic Study. The Free Library (1 May).
[16] Ribeiro, R.F. (1983) Zeolites: Science and Technology. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Netherlands.
[17] Kabwadza-Corner, P., Munthali, M.W., Johan, E. and Matsue, N. (2014) Comparative Study of Copper Adsorptivity and Selectivity toward Zeolites. American Journal of Analytical Chemistry, 5, 395-405.
[18] Hasan, S., Ghosh, T.K., Viswanath, D.S. and Boddu, V.M. (2008) Dispersion of Chitosan on Perlite for Enhancement of Copper(II) Adsorption Capacity. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 152, 826-837.
[19] Stefanova, R.Y. (2000) Sorption of Metal Ions from Aqueous Solutions by Thermally Activated Electroplating Sludge. Journal of Environmental Science and Health Part A, 35, 593-607.
[20] Zou, W.H., Han, R., Chen, Z., Zhang, J.H. and Shi, J. (2006) Kinetic Study of Adsorption of Cu(II) and Pb(II) from Aqueous Solutions Using Manganese Oxide Coated Zeolite in Batch Mode. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 279, 238-246.
[21] Lee, M., Yi, G., Ahn, B. and Roddick, F. (2000) Conversion of Coal Fly Ash into Zeolite and Heavy Metal Removal Characteristics of the Products. Korean Journal of Chemical Engineering, 17, 325-331.
[22] Jha, V.K., Nagae, M., Matsuda, M. and Miyake, M. (2009) Zeolite Formation from Coal Fly Ash and Heavy Metal Ion Removal Characteristics of Thus-Obtained Zeolite X in Multi-Metal Systems. Journal of Environmental Management, 90, 2507-2514.
[23] Smith, E.H. (1998) Surface Complexation Modeling of Metal Removal by Recycled Iron Sorbent. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 124, 913-920.
[24] Trgo, M. and Peric, J. (2003) Interaction of the Zeolitic Tuff with Zn-Containing Simulated Pollutant Solutions. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 260, 166-175.
[25] Heidari, A., Younesi, H., Mehrabanb, Z. and Heikkinen, H. (2013) Selective Adsorption of Pb(II), Cd(II), and Ni(II) Ions from Aqueous Solution Using Chitosan-MAA Nanoparticles. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 61, 251-263.
[26] Munthali, M.W., Kabwadza-Corner, P., Johan, E. and Matsue, N. (2014) Decrease in Cation Exchange Capacity of Zeolites at Neutral pH: Examples and Proposals of a Determination Method. Journal of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, 2, 1-5.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.