Removal of Copper from Mining Wastewater Using Natural Raw Material—Comparative Study between the Synthetic and Natural Wastewater Samples
The intent in this paper is to define how the batch equilibrium results of copper removal from a synthetic solution on natural zeolite can be used for prediction of the breakthrough curves in the fixed-bed system for both a synthetic solution and wastewater. Natural zeolite from the Vranjska Banja deposit, Serbia, has been fully characterized (XRD, chemical composition, DTA/TG, SEM/EDS) as a clinoptilolite with cation exchange capacity of 146 meq/100 g. The maximum adsorption capacity (qm) in
... capacity (qm) in the batch of the mono-component system (synthetic copper solution) obtained using the Langmuir isotherm model was 7.30 and 6.10 mg/g for particle size below 0.043 and 0.6–0.8 mm, respectively. Using the flow-through system with the 0.6–0.8 mm zeolite fixed-bed, almost double the adsorption capacity (11.2–12.2 mg/g) has been achieved in a saturation point for the copper removal from the synthetic solution, compared to the batch. Better results are attributed to the constant high concentration gradient in flow-through systems compared to the batch. The complex composition of wastewater and large amounts of earth alkaline metals disturb free adsorption sights on the zeolite surface. This results in a less effective adsorption in flow-through systems with adsorption capacity in breakthrough point of 5.84 mg/g (~0.95 × qm) and in a saturation point of 7.10 mg/g (~1.15 × qm).