Active silicate materials have good adsorption and passivation effects on heavy metal pollutants. The experimental conditions for the preparation of active silicate heavy metal adsorbent (ASHMA) and the adsorption of Cu(II) by ASHMA were investigated. The optimum preparation conditions of ASHMA were as follows: 200 mesh quartz sand as the raw material, NaOH as an activating agent, NaOH/quartz sand = 0.45 (mass fraction), and calcination at 600 °C for 60 min. Under these conditions, the active silicon content of the adsorbent was 22.38% and the utilization efficiency of NaOH reached 89.11%. The adsorption mechanism of Cu(II) on the ASHMA was analyzed by the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models, which provided fits of 0.99 and 0.98, respectively. The separation coefficient (RL
) and adsorption constant (n) showed that the adsorbent favored the adsorption of Cu(II), and the maximum adsorption capacity (Qmax
) estimated by the Langmuir isotherm was higher than that of 300 mg/L. Furthermore, adsorption by ASHMA was a relatively rapid process, and adsorption equilibrium could be achieved in 1 min. The adsorbents were characterized by FT-IR and Raman spectroscopy. The results showed that the activating agent destroyed the crystal structure of the quartz sand under calcination, and formed Si-O-Na and Si-OH groups to realize activation. The experimental results revealed that the adsorption process involved the removal of Cu(II) by the formation of Si-O-Cu bonds on the surface of the adsorbent. The above results indicated that the adsorbent prepared from quartz sand had a good removal effect on Cu(II).
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