adsorption isotherm models, bentonite, fluoride ions adsorption, natural sorbents, water purification, zeolite


Addressing the health concern of fluoride ions contamination in water, that cause such deceases as dental and skeletal fluorosis, requires the development of effective adsorption materials for water treatment. Our research objective was to evaluate the adsorption properties and capacities of zeolite and bentonite, sourced from Ukrainian deposits, and their acid-activated forms in relation to fluoride ions and estimate fitting this data to various adsorption models. Characterization of natural and acid-activated zeolite and bentonite sorbents was performed through X-ray diffraction to determine the phase composition of these substances. Adsorption experiments were carried out at different initial fluoride ions concentrations (3, 5, 10 and 15 mg/l) and pH (3.7; 7.5). Acidification (changing pH from 7.5 to 3.7) increase adsorption capacity of natural zeolite and bentonite more than twice. It was found that natural zeolite removes fluoride ions at the level of 67 % at pH 3.7 and a high dosage of sorbent – 10 g/l and an initial concentration of fluoride ions – 5 mg/l, while its acid‑activated form was more effective - the removal of fluoride ions is 86 % at a lower dosage of sorbent – 1 g/l. Similarly, natural bentonite demonstrated a maximum removal efficiency of 45 % at pH 3.7 and a dosage of sorbent – 10 g/l, and its acid-activated form allowed for the removal of fluoride ions of about 83 % at a dosage of sorbent – 2 g/l at the same fluoride ions concentration. It is shown that the Vagelar-Langmuir (VL) isotherm model is the most accurate for describing the process of fluoride ions adsorption by acid-activated forms of natural sorbents, where the R² values are close to 0.999, indicating monolayer adsorption on homogeneous active centers. The obtained results indicate the greater efficiency of acid-activated forms of natural sorbents and the prospects of their use for the removal of fluoride ions from water.


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