Sorption is a crucial process that influences immobilization and migration of heavy metals in an aqueous environment. Sediments represent one of the ultimate sinks for heavy metals discharged into water body. Moreover, the particle size of sediments plays an extremely important role in the immobilization of heavy metals. In this study, the sorption and desorption of cadmium (Cd) and copper (Cu) onto sediments with different particle sizes were investigated to predict the rate and capacity of sorption, to understand their environmental behaviors in an aqueous environment. Batch sorption and kinetic experiments were conducted to obtain the retained amount and rate of Cd and Cu in a binary system. Experimental data were simulated using sorption models to ascertain the sorption capacity and the kinetic rate. Results of European Communities Bureau of Reference (BCR) sequential extraction showed the highest concentration of Cd (0.344 mg kg−1
), and its distribution varied with sediment particle size and site. Furthermore, most of Cu (approximately 57% to 84%) existed as a residual fraction. The sorption of Cu onto six sediments followed a pseudo-first order reaction, whereas that of Cd followed a pseudo-second order reaction. Additionally, the competitive Langmuir model fitted the batch sorption experimental data extremely well. The highest sorption capacities of Cd and Cu reach 0.641 mmol kg−1
and 62.3 mmol kg−1
, respectively, on the smallest submerged sediment particles. The amounts of Cu and Cd desorbed (mmol kg−1
) increased linearly with the initial concentration increasing. Thus, sediment texture is an important factor that influences the sorption of heavy metal onto sediments.
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