Removal of lead and zinc ions from water by low cost adsorbents

J Hazard Mater. 2009 Aug 30;168(1):319-25. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2009.02.026. Epub 2009 Feb 20.


In this study, activated carbon, kaolin, bentonite, blast furnace slag and fly ash were used as adsorbent with a particle size between 100 mesh and 200 mesh to remove the lead and zinc ions from water. The concentration of the solutions prepared was in the range of 50-100 mg/L for lead and zinc for single and binary systems which are diluted as required for batch experiments. The effect of contact time, pH and adsorbent dosage on removal of lead and zinc by adsorption was investigated. The equilibrium time was found to be 30 min for activated carbon and 3h for kaolin, bentonite, blast furnace slag and fly ash. The most effective pH value for lead and zinc removal was 6 for activated carbon. pH value did not effect lead and zinc removal significantly for other adsorbents. Adsorbent doses were varied from 5 g/L to 20 g/L for both lead and zinc solutions. An increase in adsorbent doses increases the percent removal of lead and zinc. A series of isotherm studies was undertaken and the data evaluated for compliance was found to match with the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models. To investigate the adsorption mechanism, the kinetic models were tested, and it follows second order kinetics. Kinetic studies reveals that blast furnace slag was not effective for lead and zinc removal. The bentonite and fly ash were effective for lead and zinc removal.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Bentonite / chemistry
  • Carbon / chemistry
  • Coal Ash
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Industrial Waste
  • Kinetics
  • Lead / isolation & purification*
  • Particle Size
  • Particulate Matter / chemistry
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / isolation & purification*
  • Water Purification / economics
  • Water Purification / methods*
  • Zinc / isolation & purification*


  • Coal Ash
  • Industrial Waste
  • Particulate Matter
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Bentonite
  • Lead
  • Carbon
  • Zinc