Natural clay from Darbandikhan (DC) was evaluated in its natural form, after acid activation (ADC), and after pillaring (PILDC) as a potential adsorbent for the adsorption of methyl orange (MO) as a model anionic dye adsorbate. The effect of different clay treatments was investigated using X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR), and N2
physisorption analysis. Both acid activation and pillaring resulted in a significant increase in adsorption affinity, respectively. The adsorption favored acidic pH for the anionic dye (MO). The adsorption process was found to follow pseudo-second-order kinetics with activation energies of 5.9 and 40.1 kJ·mol−1
for the adsorption of MO on ADC and PILDC, respectively, which are characteristic of physical adsorption. The adsorption isotherms (Langmuir, Redlich-Peterson and Freundlich) were fitted well to the experimental data. The specific surface area of the natural clay was very low (22.4 m2
) compared to high-class adsorbent materials. This value was increased to 53.2 m2
by the pillaring process. Nevertheless, because of its local availability, the activated materials may be useful for the cleaning of local industrial wastewaters.
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