In this study β-zeolite, ferrierite and partially delaminated PREFER (precursor of ferrierite) zeolites with several chemical and textural properties were synthesized for the removal of zinc and lead ion metals from their respective solutions. Adsorption experiments involving the suspension of tiny amounts of these solids in aqueous solutions containing either Zn2+ or Pb2+ showed that the removal of these metals at a considerable extent may be attained. Among the studied materials, β-zeolite displayed the better performance in metal ion removal, which may be ascribed to its higher aluminum content, surface area and external surface area, that allows a greater density and availability of ion adsorption active sites. Kinetic data from a pseudo-second-order model indicate that the chemical interaction among metal ions and active sites is the rate-limiting step. Furthermore, the better performance of the β-zeolite displayed in reusability testing makes it a potential adsorbent for future applications in the treatment of effluents containing toxic metals.

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