Experimental Investigation of Adsorption of Copper from Aqueous Solution using Vermiculite and Clinoptilolite

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Research institute of Petroleum Industry, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Chemical Engineering, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Considering the point that the existence of heavy metals in the wastewater are so dangerous for
the environment and it would have many bad consequences for all the creatures including human beings, we
must try out the ways that make us capable of adsorbing these heavy metals. In order to accomplish this goal we should use a method called adsorbing. In this study the adsorption of copper ions in hydrated copper nitrate (Cu (NO3)2, 3H2O) aqueous solution on natural zeolite (Clinoptilolite) and vermiculite was studied in batch reactors. The effect of temperature (25, 50, 75 °C), solution pH (1.00-5.5) and concentration effect on the traditionally defined adsorption isotherm in the adsorbate range 100-325 mg/L for clinoptilolite and 100- 650 mg/L for vermiculite on the removal of copper was studied. The results showed that an increase in pH increases the adsorptivity of vermiculite. Pseudo second order model best described the reaction rate. Batch adsorption experiments conducted at room temperature (25±1 °C) showed that the adsorption pattern followed the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models. Optimum conditions for adsorption were determined at pH 5.5, and vermiculite and clinoptilolite at a dose of 3g. The concentration of metal ions was measured by Atomic Absorption Spectro eter (AAS). The results indicated that vermiculite and clinoptilolite are appropriate for adsorbing copper ions.