Adsorption Isotherm and Kinetic Models for Cadmium Removal from Polluted Water Using Clay, Biochar and Their Complex

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Soil and Water Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, Iran

2 Assistant professor, Water and Soil Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahrood University of Technology

3 Department of Water and soil, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahrood University of Technology

4 Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, Iran


With increasing population and water consumption in agriculture and industry, the entry of various contaminants into the environment and soil and water resources has been increased. Cadmium heavy metal is known as one of the polluting elements. In addition to toxicity, it has adverse effects on the health of living organisms, too. In this study, the adsorption method was investigated by the three adsorbents of sepiolite clay, corn biochar, and clay and corn biochar complex on the removal of cadmium metal from water. For this purpose, experiments related to adsorption isotherms and adsorption kinetics were performed by the three adsorbents. Parameters affecting the adsorption process include type of adsorbent, change in initial concentration of cadmium solution, and changes in adsorbent contact time were investigated. The adsorption capacity of the adsorbents increased with increasing cadmium concentration from 150 to 800 mg/l, but the adsorption percentage decreased with increasing concentration. The results showed that the highest adsorption capacity in cadmium was related to corn biochar, while the clay-biochar adsorbent had more adsorption capacity than clay adsorbent. Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms for each element and adsorbent were investigated to study the adsorption process. It was found that the adsorption of cadmium by the adsorbents follows both models. Freundlich model with the highest coefficient of determination (R2) and the lowest sum of squares of standard error (SSE) showed the best fit with laboratory data. The effect of adsorbent contact time on the adsorption rate was investigated and found that the adsorption efficiency increased with increasing contact time. Fitting quasi-first-order, quasi-second-order, Elovitch, and intra-particle dispersion models for cadmium at concentrations of 150 and 600 mg/l was performed at 30 to 1440 min. The Elovich model at concentrations of 150 and 600 mg/l cadmium showed the best fit with laboratory data. At concentrations of 150, clay-biochar complexes showed better adsorption performance, but at other concentrations of cadmium, biochar was a better adsorbent than the other two adsorbents. Based on the results inferred from adsorption experiments, it can be stated that the corn biochar compared to clay and biochar and clay and biochar complex compared to clay has a high ability to remove heavy metals from contaminated water, which can be used as a cheap and practical material used to remove contaminants such as cadmium.


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