In this study, a novel poly ligand exchanger-Zn(II)-loaded resin was designed to effectively remove ammonia-nitrogen (NH3-N) from wastewater. The surface morphology and structure of the Zn-loaded resin were characterized using scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), respectively. SEM shows the surfaces of the Zn(II)-loaded resin were rough and nonporous and EDS demonstrated that Zn2+ was loaded onto the resin successfully. In addition, the combination form of Zn(II) with NH3-N adsorption reagent was revealed by FTIR spectra; the complex could be R-N-R-O-Zn-O-R-N-R and R-N-R-(O-Zn)2. The kinetics and equilibrium of the NH3-N adsorption onto the Zn(II)-loaded resin has been investigated. The effects of pH, reaction time, and temperature on NH3-N removal from wastewater by Zn(II)-loaded resin were investigated, and the results showed that the maximum adsorption capacity reached 38.55 mg/g at pH 9.54 at 298 K in 240 min. The adsorption ability of the modified resin decreased with an increase in temperature. Moreover, the NH3-N adsorption followed a pseudo-second-order kinetic process. The kinetic data demonstrated that the adsorption process might be limited by a variety of mechanisms. The study can provide the scientific foundation for the extensive application of a novel poly ligand exchanger-Zn(II)-loaded resin to remove NH3-N from wastewater.

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