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Title: Synthesis and characterisation of hierarchical zeolitic materials for heavy metals adsorption
Author: De Haro del Rio, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 7765
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis explains a method based on the homogenisation of zeta potential charges on carbon supports for the production of hierarchical structured zeolitic composites. The modification of carbons’ surface chemistry allowed zeolite particles to be fixed to the support by electrostatic interactions. In order to achieve this, the size reduction of zeolite particles was carried out by two different methods: a) ball milling and b) a synthetic route to produce zeolite colloidal dispersions. Also, the seeding method, based on hydrothermal growth was compared. The prepared materials in this work were designed to be used in the sorption of cations, and to allow vitrification and thereby reduce the final adsorbent volume. Results showed that a large pollutant amount can be trapped using a lower volume of material reducing costs and final waste disposal. The zeolites used in this work were selected based on their low density framework and low Si/Al ratio. Synthetic zeolites A, Y and clinoptilolite were successfully produced. Natural clinoptilolite was also utilised in this work. Also, zeolite A was produced at nanometre scale following the clear solutions method. All materials were successfully incorporated onto supports to produce multimodal porosity materials. The hierarchical modification of natural clinoptilolite, following a straightforward and nonexpensive methodology, is one the most significant contributions of this work. Carbons are used as supports due to their high surface area, they can be obtained from low-cost sources such as agroindustrial wastes and carbons allow volume reduction if materials are vitrified at high temperatures. In this work, carbons were produced from corn cob and husk, sugar cane bagasse, cherry stones, date stones and hazelnut shells. The prepared composite materials were tested in the removal of toxic ions from water solutions: cobalt, copper and caesium ions were effectively removed from aqueous media. Adsorption experiments showed that the distribution of supported zeolite particles improved their uptake efficiency and capacity. The kinetic studies revealed an enhanced rate constant for carbon-zeolites composites in comparison with pure zeolites. Diffusivity results suggested that mass transfer characteristics are modified by using hierarchical porous materials; results showed that particle size or support nature can modify diffusion resistances, reducing intraparticle diffusion and accelerating the overall kinetic processes. Adsorption equilibrium data was correlated using Langmuir and Freundlich models.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: CONACYT (Mexico)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Zeolites ; Hierarchical Structures ; Clinoptilolite ; Heavy Metals Removal ; Adsorption Kinetics