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Title: The application of synthetic zeolites for the removal of heavy metals from contaminated effluents
Author: Whitehead, Kate
ISNI:       0000 0001 3567 2139
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2000
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The aim of this research was to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the heavy metal removal performance of two synthetic zeolites, Zeocros CA150 and Zeocros CG180. Detailed laboratory investigations of the key parameters known to affect zeolitic ion exchange were performed with respect to lead, zinc, copper, cadmium and nickel by means of batch equilibrium tests. The study into the effect of contact time suggests that a near equilibrium state was reached within two hours. As metal hydroxide precipitation was minimal at pH 6.0 and the structural integrity of the zeolite was maintained, metal removal at this pH is predominantly by ion exchange rather than chemical precipitation. Fluctuations in both silicon and aluminium release from the zeolites suggest that partial dissolution may occur under mildly acidic conditions, an observation discussed elsewhere in the literature. Heavy metal removal decreased with increasing metal loading, with the zeolites exhibiting Significantly lower operating exchange capacities compared to the theoretical ones. Exchange capacities varied between 1.3-4.9 meq/g and 0.5-4.6 meq/g for CA 150 and CG180 respectively for the five metals studied. Throughout all of the experimental investigations, lead was removed preferentially (>99%) and nickel removal effiCiencies were the lowest «20%). The results from the mixed metal studies demonstrated that lead removal was the least affected by the presence of other heavy metals whereas cadmium, copper and zinc removal was suppressed in comparison to that from Single metal solutions. The presence of competing ions was not found to adversely affect lead removal by CA 150 and CG180, with copper and cadmium removal showing the most suppression in the presence of calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. Zinc uptake by both zeolites proved the most sensitive to the addition of hardness ions even under soft water conditions. The zeolites were also demonstrated to achieve up to 100% removal from real effluents, outperforming a natural zeolite, clinoptilolite. Overall, this research has demonstrated the considerable potential of these synthetic zeolites to selectively remove heavy metals from complex contaminated effluents, indicating their possible application as a tertiary technology for effluent treatment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Zeocros; Ion exchange