Abstract

The optimal parameters affecting the adsorption of arsenic ions As(III) on iron oxide impregnated activated alumina (IOIAA) were determined by conducting batch and column experiments. The adsorption of As(III) was strongly dependent on pH, temperature and initial adsorbate concentration. The adsorption process satisfied the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms. Equilibrium studies were conducted to obtain the thermodynamic parameters and data showed the endothermic nature of adsorption. Kinetics studies showed that a pseudo first-order rate equation successfully described the adsorption process. Equilibrium was attained within 10 h and the time taken to attain equilibrium was independent of initial arsenite concentration. Column studies showed that adsorption was strongly dependent on empty bed contact time. Column design parameters such as the time taken for the establishment of primary adsorption zone, fractional capacity, length of primary adsorption zone and the percentage saturation at breakpoint were calculated to be in the range of 18.3 to 70.4 h, 0.39 to 0.63, 3.0 to 3.85 cm and 69.6 to 81.5%, respectively. The observations mentioned above provide a direct relationship between the length of the adsorption zone (δ) and percent saturation at break point.

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