Adsorption of Cu(II) from aqueous solutions using NKF-6 zeolite was investigated by batch technique under ambient conditions. The adsorption was investigated as a function of pH, ionic strength, fulvic acid (FA), foreign ions and temperature. The results indicated that the adsorption of Cu(II) on NKF-6 zeolite gradually increases from 0 to 90% with increasing pH at pH<6.5, and maintains high level at pH>6.5. Outer-sphere complexation or ion exchange may be the main adsorption mechanism of Cu(II) to NKF-6 zeolite at low pH values, whereas the adsorption of Cu(II) at pH>6.5 is mainly dominated by inner-sphere complexation or precipitation. A positive effect of FA on Cu(II) adsorption onto NKF-6 zeolite is observed at low pH values, while a negative effect of FA is observed at high pH values. The thermodynamic parameters (i.e., ΔH0, ΔS0 and ΔG0) for the adsorption of Cu(II) were determined from the temperature dependent isotherms at 20, 40 and 60°C, respectively, and the results indicated that the adsorption reaction is favoured at low temperature. The results suggested that the adsorption process of Cu(II) on NKF-6 zeolite is spontaneous and exothermic.

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