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Open AccessArticle

Use of Lignite as a Low-Cost Material for Cadmium and Copper Removal from Aqueous Solutions: Assessment of Adsorption Characteristics and Exploration of Involved Mechanisms

1
PEIE Research Chair for the Development of Industrial Estates and Free Zones, Center for Environmental Studies and Research (CESAR), Sultan Qaboos University, Al-Khoud, 123 Muscat, Oman
2
The institute of Materials Science of Mulhouse (IS2M), University of Haute Alsace, University of Strasbourg, CNRS , UMR 7361, F-68100 Mulhouse, France
3
Center for Sustainable Development, College of Arts and Sciences, Qatar University, P.O. Box 2713, Doha, Qatar
4
Georesources laboratory, Water Research and Technologies Center (CERTE), Echo park of Borj Cedria, Carthage University, P.O. Box 273, Soliman 8020, Tunisia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2021, 13(2), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020164
Received: 13 December 2020 / Revised: 3 January 2021 / Accepted: 6 January 2021 / Published: 12 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wastewater Treatment, Valorization and Reuse)
Lignite, as an available and low-cost material, was tested for cadmium (Cd) and copper (Cu) removal from aqueous solutions under various static experimental conditions. Experimental results showed that the removal efficiency of both metals was improved by increasing their initial concentrations, adsorbent dosage and aqueous pH values. The adsorption kinetic was very rapid for Cd since about 78% of the totally adsorbed amounts were removed after a contact time of only 1 min. For Cd and Cu, the kinetic and isothermal data were well fitted with pseudo-second order and Freundlich models, respectively, which suggests that Cd/Cu removal by lignite occurs heterogeneously on multilayers surfaces. The maximum Langmuir’s adsorption capacities of Cd and Cu were assessed to 38.0 and 21.4 mg g−1 and are relatively important compared to some other lignites and raw natural materials. Results of proximate, scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-Ray diffraction (XRD) showed that the removal of these metals occurs most likely through a combination of cation exchange and complexation with specific functional groups. The relatively high adsorption capacity of the used lignite promotes its future use as a low cost material for Cd and Cu removal from effluents, and possibly for other heavy metals or groups of pollutants. View Full-Text
Keywords: lignite; heavy metals; adsorption; batch; isotherm; mechanism lignite; heavy metals; adsorption; batch; isotherm; mechanism
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jellali, S.; Azzaz, A.A.; Jeguirim, M.; Hamdi, H.; Mlayah, A. Use of Lignite as a Low-Cost Material for Cadmium and Copper Removal from Aqueous Solutions: Assessment of Adsorption Characteristics and Exploration of Involved Mechanisms. Water 2021, 13, 164. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020164

AMA Style

Jellali S, Azzaz AA, Jeguirim M, Hamdi H, Mlayah A. Use of Lignite as a Low-Cost Material for Cadmium and Copper Removal from Aqueous Solutions: Assessment of Adsorption Characteristics and Exploration of Involved Mechanisms. Water. 2021; 13(2):164. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020164

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jellali, Salah; Azzaz, Ahmed A.; Jeguirim, Mejdi; Hamdi, Helmi; Mlayah, Ammar. 2021. "Use of Lignite as a Low-Cost Material for Cadmium and Copper Removal from Aqueous Solutions: Assessment of Adsorption Characteristics and Exploration of Involved Mechanisms" Water 13, no. 2: 164. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020164

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