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Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(10), 277; doi:10.3390/app6100277

Fluoride Sorption Efficiency of Vermiculite Functionalised with Cationic Surfactant: Isotherm and Kinetics

Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Venda, P/Bag X5050, Thohoyandou 0950, South Africa
Directorate of Research and Innovation, University of Venda, P/Bag X5050, Thohoyandou 0950, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Agustín Bueno-López
Received: 9 July 2016 / Revised: 13 September 2016 / Accepted: 15 September 2016 / Published: 29 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Chemistry)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3921 KB, uploaded 29 September 2016]   |  


Groundwater is a major source of water, especially in rural communities. The presence of excess fluoride in groundwater has been a health concern for many decades because it causes fluorosis. The persistence of this problem led to the development of several approaches for reducing fluoride in groundwater to ≤1.5 mg/L, which is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) permissible limit. Despite recorded success in fluoride reduction, drawbacks such as cost and efficiency have remained apparent, thus necessitating further research on defluoridation. This paper aims at assessing the defluoridation capacity of a clay mineral, vermiculite, when modified with the cationic surfactant hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide. The effects of experimental parameters such as pH, agitation time, mass of adsorbent, and temperature were examined to determine the most favourable adsorption conditions. Using batch technique, the results showed a fluoride sorption of 51% from an 8 mg/L fluoride solution. The adsorption conformed more to Freundlich than Langmuir isotherm with an adsorption capacity of 2.36 mg/g, while the kinetics conformed to a pseudo-second-order reaction. pH emerged as the most influential factor in optimisation. The findings of this study indicated that modified vermiculite could be efficient in reducing fluoride in groundwater to more tolerable limits, but requires adequate pH control. View Full-Text
Keywords: adsorption; fluorosis; permissible limits; surfactant; vermiculite adsorption; fluorosis; permissible limits; surfactant; vermiculite

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Ologundudu, T.O.; Odiyo, J.O.; Ekosse, G.-I.E. Fluoride Sorption Efficiency of Vermiculite Functionalised with Cationic Surfactant: Isotherm and Kinetics. Appl. Sci. 2016, 6, 277.

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