Heavy Metal Removal from Aqueous Solution Using Natural Libyan Zeolite and Activated Carbon

Rafik M. Hesnawi, Jamal Fateas, Abdurrahman Eswayah, Rajab Maga, Yahya Elshibany


The efficiency of natural Libyan zeolite from natural local Libyan environment and activated carbon to remove zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) from aqueous solution was studies in a batch adsorption system. The effect of pH, adsorbent dose, metal ion concentrations and agitation time on removal efficiency was studied. It was observed that the highest removal level of Zn, Cu, Cd, and Pb ions for powdered natural Libyan zeolite was achieved at adsorbent dose of 0.75 g, initial metal concentration of 25 mg/l, and contact time of 60 minutes. Under these optimum conditions, the removal efficiency was 83 %, 98%, 95 %, and 97% of Zn, Cu, Cd, and Pb ions, respectively. In case of powdered activated carbon, the highest removal level for Zn, Cu, Cd, and Pb ions was achieved at adsorbent dose of 0.25 g, initial metal concentration of 25 mg/l and contact time of  60 minutes. The removal efficiency was 97%, 99 %, 98%, and 96% of Zn, Cu, Cd, and Pb ions respectively. Both the zeolite and activated carbon showed high removal  efficiency of heavy metals, however, less adsorbent dose of  activated carbon was required to achieve the same efficiency removal obtained with Libyan Zeolite. 

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