Evaluation of the use of an alkali modified fly ash as a potential adsorbent for the removal of metals from acid mine drainage

P. K. Sahoo, S. Tripathy, M. K. Panigrahi, Sk. Md. Equeenuddin
2013 Applied Water Science  
The coal fly ash (FA), mainly containing high unburnt carbon was modified by alkali hydrothermal treatment. The modified fly ash (MFA) contains lower amounts of Si and Al and has a higher surface area and pH than the untreated fly ash (FA). The objective of this study is to investigate the potential of MFA as a low cost adsorbent material for the removal of Al, Fe, Ni, Pb, Zn and Mn from acid mine drainage (AMD). The effect of dose, contact time and competing cations on the adsorption of metals
more » ... dsorption of metals was investigated. The results showed that the sorption process onto MFA was initially rapid, but slowed down thereafter. The optimum time for metal uptake was 180 min while the optimum dose of MFA for metal removal was 120 g/L. The adsorption data best fit to the Freundlich isotherm model, which demonstrates that the adsorption process is controlled by the heterogeneous nature of the adsorbent. Adsorption kinetics of Al, Fe, Ni, Pb, and Zn onto MFA follow a pseudo second-order reaction, which implies that chemisorption is the adsorption rate-limiting step for them, while for Mn it is intra-particle diffusion. Preliminary treatment of real mine drainage from Jaintia Hills coalfield indicates that MFA can be an effective and low-cost adsorbent for the treatment of AMD. The desorption data show that most of the metal ions were substantially desorbed in the acidic media, implying that the adsorbent can be regenerated and reused efficiently.
doi:10.1007/s13201-013-0113-2 fatcat:irknjd4smnd4rl5t6rbbcc747i