This study investigates the ability of spatial post-discharge mode functionalized kaolin to remove textile dye Reactive Red 2 from aqueous solution compared to that of the raw kaolinite. To fulfill the aim, the removal conditions, including plasma exposure time, processed mode (direct and post-discharge), pH of the aqueous dye solution, initial dye concentration and adsorbent dosage, were investigated. The changes that occur on clay surfaces before and after gliding arc plasma treatment were followed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and nitrogen physisorption. The point of zero charge and the changes of the textural properties after gliding arc plasma treatment were also examined. The experimental data were analyzed using pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order and empirical Elovich models. The diffusion phenomenon was also studied. The results obtained indicate that spatial post-discharge pre-treatment of kaolin deeply influences the functional groups of some of its minerals as well as the morphology and texture of its particles. Consequently, at room temperature (∼30 °C), the maximum adsorption capacities of natural raw kaolin clay were tripled after treatment with gliding arc plasma in spatial post-discharge mode and were almost doubled after the direct treatment mode.

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