The fluoride removal capability of six different adsorbents (four commercial, i.e., titanium dioxide-TiO2
-A33E, granular activated carbon (GAC) and granular ferric hydroxide (GFH), and two laboratory media, i.e., nano-fine media and nano-granular media) was determined under batch conditions using synthetic and real contaminated water containing arsenic and vanadium. The kinetic and equilibrium characteristics of the adsorption process under different operating conditions (pH value, initial fluoride concentration, adsorbent dosage, water composition) were obtained. Among the tested adsorbents, TiO2
showed the highest adsorption capacity; it was also capable of reducing fluoride concentration below the limit set for drinking water without pH control. TiO2
still remained the best adsorbent in the treatment of real contaminated groundwater, where it was also capable of efficiently removing both arsenic and vanadium. The other adsorbents were capable of achieving the same fluoride reduction, although only for acid pH. The nano-sized laboratory media showed an adsorption removal efficiency below that of TiO2
but superior to that of A33E, GAC and GFH. Among the investigated parameters, the removal efficiency was mainly affected by adsorbent dosage and pH. The pseudo-second order model best fitted the kinetic experimental data of all the media. The maximum adsorption capacity predicted by this model was in the following decreasing order: TiO2
> A33E > GAC > GFH. The removal capability of all the media drastically decreased due to the presence of competitive ions and unfavorable pH conditions. The best isotherm model changed depending on the type of adsorbent and pH conditions.
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