The performance of the adsorption column is conveniently described through the concept of the breakthrough curve (Aksu *et al.* 2007). A plot of the ratio of concentrations (*C*_{t}/*C*_{0}) versus time (*t*) or volume (*v*) of the effluent is known as the breakthrough curve (*C*_{t}/*C*_{0} versus time). The breakthrough curves illustrate the performance of fixed-bed columns, and the time to reach the breakthrough and shape of the breakthrough curve are the key characteristics for evaluating the adsorption capacity of a column because they directly affect the feasibility and economics of the adsorption process (Ahmad & Hameed 2010). An ideal breakthrough curve has a symmetric sigmoidal shape (S-shape) and the time required for the effluent concentration to reach 10% of the input concentration (*C*_{t}/*C*_{0} = 0.1) was defined as the breakthrough point time (*t*_{b}). Table 2 represents various breakthrough parameters and their equations for determination (Luo *et al.* 2011; Nuić *et al.* 2013; Yagub *et al.* 2015).

Table 2

Breakthrough parameters . | Equations . | . |
---|---|---|

Breakthrough time, t_{b} (min) | Time at | |

Exhaust time, t_{e} (min) | Time at | |

Column capacity, q_{c} (mg) | Q and A are the flow rate (mL/min) and the area under the breakthrough curve, respectively.C_{ad} = C_{0} − C_{e}, C_{e} is effluent metal ions concentration and C_{0} is influent metal ions concentration (mg/L). | |

Total amount of metal ions sent to the column, m (mg) | ||

Percentage removal of metals | ||

Adsorption capacity, q (mg/g) | X is the total mass of the adsorbent in the column (g) | |

Length of mass transfer zone (MTZ) (cm) | H is total depth of the adsorbent in the column (cm). |

Breakthrough parameters . | Equations . | . |
---|---|---|

Breakthrough time, t_{b} (min) | Time at | |

Exhaust time, t_{e} (min) | Time at | |

Column capacity, q_{c} (mg) | Q and A are the flow rate (mL/min) and the area under the breakthrough curve, respectively.C_{ad} = C_{0} − C_{e}, C_{e} is effluent metal ions concentration and C_{0} is influent metal ions concentration (mg/L). | |

Total amount of metal ions sent to the column, m (mg) | ||

Percentage removal of metals | ||

Adsorption capacity, q (mg/g) | X is the total mass of the adsorbent in the column (g) | |

Length of mass transfer zone (MTZ) (cm) | H is total depth of the adsorbent in the column (cm). |

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