In the present work, Zeolite A was modified by using hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (HDTMABr) for adsorption of the Congo red (CR) dye from synthetic aqueous solutions. The Modified Zeolite A (MZA) was characterized by XRD, SEM, and FTIR. The influence of solution pH (in the 4–12 range), ionic strength (0.1–1 M), contact time (180 min), initial CR concentration (20–60 mg/L), temperature (24–36 °C), and an adsorbent dose (1–3 g m/L) on the % dye removal and adsorbent capacity were studied. A combined effect of the initial CR concentration and temperature on the CR removal % by MZA was also studied by applying the response surface methodology (RSM). Experimental values were in a good agreement with those that predicated by a second-order quartic model. A maximum of 99.24% dye removal and adsorbent capacity of 21.11 mg/g was achieved under the following conditions: pH = 7, initial CR concentration = 60 mg/L, temperature = 24 °C, ionic strength = 0.1 M, adsorbent dose = 3 g/L and 90 min contact time. The equilibrium data were subjected to the Langmuir, Freundlich and Temkin isotherms, with the latter providing the best fit while kinetic adsorption studies were conducted by applying three models. The results indicated that the removal process was best described by the pseudo-second-order model. The present study demonstrates that modified MZA can be utilized for the highly efficient CR dye removal.


  • The commercial zeolite A was successfully modified by (HDTMABr), the MZA utilized for the highly efficient Congo red dye removal.

  • Selection of optimal conditions for dye removal by modified Zeolite A.

  • Adsorption mechanism has been proposed.

  • The results demonstrate the exothermic nature adsorption process for the removal of dye by modified Zeolite.

Graphical Abstract

Graphical Abstract
Graphical Abstract
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