A fixed bed column packed with chitosan-sodium tripolyphosphate (CTPP) beads was used to remove aqueous Fe (III) ions. The adsorption of Fe (III) ions on CTPP beads was found to be dependent on operating conditions, such as the flow rate, adsorbent bed length, and feed concentration. The experimental data were assessed with Thomas, Adams-Bohart and Yoon-Nelson models to predict the breakthrough curves using linear regression. The breakthrough curves were better fitted with the Thomas and Yoon-Nelson models when the flow rate was varied and the feed concentration and the bed height of the column were fixed. Therefore, chemical adsorption may be the limiting step that controls the continuous adsorption process. The Adams-Bohart model presented a good fit to the experimental data, showing that external mass transfer was controlling the adsorption process in the initial part of the breakthrough curves. The parameters obtained from the continuous adsorption assays may be used as a basis for designing columns packed with CTPP beads for the removal of Fe (III) ions.

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