Effective Removal of Nitrates Ions from Aqueous Solution Using New Clay as Potential Low-Cost Adsorbent


In the present study, we investigated the performance of clay mineral originated from a dam situated in Morocco (Agadir city), as natural, low-cost, alternative and eco-friendly adsorbent for removal of nitrates ions from aqueous solution within a batch process. The clay was characterized by X-ray diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Dispersive Energy of Spectroscopy (EDS), Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) and surface area analysis (BET). The effects of various experimental parameters are examined such as contact time, initial concentration of pollutant, adsorbent mass and solution pH. The removal of nitrate was 71.89% at natural pH (pH = 5.1) using 1 g/l of adsorbent in 500 ml of nitrate solution having initial concentration of 300 mg/l (effect of contact time). Adsorption kinetic study revealed that the adsorption process followed first order kinetic. Theoretical correlation of the experimental equilibrium adsorption data for the Nitrate-New Clay system was properly explained by the Langmuir isotherm model. The maximum adsorption capacity was Qm, exp = 244.06 mg/g at 20℃ and at natural pH (with Qm, cal = 250 mg/g). An increase in adsorbent dosage increased the percent removal of nitrate, R = 1 g/l was considered as optimum dose and was used for further study. The pH heavily affected the adsorption capacity, and the percentage removal was found to decrease with increase in pH. The obtained results indicated that this New Clay (NC) was very good adsorbent for NO3-, interesting alternative material with respect to more costly adsorbent used, and could be used as a highly efficient adsorbent for the separation of nitrate from drinking or waste water.

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El Ouardi, M. , Qourzal, S. , Alahiane, S. , Assabbane, A. and Douch, J. (2015) Effective Removal of Nitrates Ions from Aqueous Solution Using New Clay as Potential Low-Cost Adsorbent. Journal of Encapsulation and Adsorption Sciences, 5, 178-190. doi: 10.4236/jeas.2015.54015.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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