The sequestration of heavy metals contaminating the wonderfonteinspruit catchment area using natural zeolite

P. P. Diale, S. S.L. Mkhize, E. Muzenda, J. Zimba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

For more than 120 years, gold mining formed the backbone the South Africa's economy. The consequence of mine closure was observed in large-scale land degradation and widespread pollution of surface water and groundwater. This paper investigates the feasibility of using natural zeolite in removing heavy metals contaminating the Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment Area (WCA), a water stream with high levels of heavy metals and radionuclide pollution. Batch experiments were conducted to study the adsorption behavior of natural zeolite with respect to Fe2+, Mn2+, Ni2+, and Zn2+. The data was analysed using the Langmuir and Freudlich isotherms. Langmuir was found to correlate the adsorption of Fe2+, Mn2+, Ni2+, and Zn2+ better, with the adsorption capacity of 11.9 mg/g, 1.2 mg/g, 1.3 mg/g, and 14.7 mg/g, respectively. Two kinetic models namely, pseudo-first order and pseudo second order were also tested to fit the data. Pseudo-second order equation was found to be the best fit for the adsorption of heavy metals by natural zeolite. Zeolite functionalization with humic acid increased its uptake ability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-202
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology
Volume50
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

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Catchments
Heavy metals
Adsorption
Pollution
Gold mines
Surface waters
Radioisotopes
Isotherms
Groundwater
Degradation
Kinetics
Water
Experiments

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

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The sequestration of heavy metals contaminating the wonderfonteinspruit catchment area using natural zeolite. / Diale, P. P.; Mkhize, S. S.L.; Muzenda, E.; Zimba, J.

In: World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, Vol. 50, 02.2011, p. 196-202.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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