Abstract

Hydroxyapatite powders were synthesized according to a wet precipitation route and then subjected to heat treatments within the temperature range of 200–800 °C. The prepared samples were tested as sorbents for cadmium in an aqueous medium. The best performances were obtained with the material treated at 200 °C (HAp200), as the relevant sorbent textural features (SBET – specific surface area and Vp – total volume of pores) were least affected at this low calcination temperature. The maximum adsorption capacity at standard ambient temperature and pressure was 216.6 mg g−1, which increased to 240.7 mg g−1 by increasing the temperature from 25 to 40 °C, suggesting an endothermic nature of the adsorption process. Moreover, these data indicated that a thermal treatment at 200 °C enhanced the ability of the material in Cd2+ uptake by more than 100% compared to other similar studies. The adsorption kinetic process was better described by the pseudo-second-order kinetic model. Langmuir, Freundlich, and Dubinin–Kaganer–Radushkevich isotherms were applied to describe the sorption behaviour of Cd2+ ions onto the best adsorbent. Furthermore, a thermodynamic study was also performed to determine ΔH°, ΔS°, and ΔG° of the sorption process of this adsorbent. The adsorption mechanisms were investigated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and scanning electron microscopy-transmission electron microscopy (SEM-TEM) observations.

Graphical Abstract

Graphical Abstract
Graphical Abstract
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