Fluoride adsorption onto an acid treated lateritic mineral from Kenya: Equilibrium studies

  • Enos W Wambu
  • Charles O Onindo
  • Willis J Ambusso
  • Gerald K Muthakia


Adsorption of fluoride (F) ions from water using acid treated lateritic mineral (LM-1) from Kenya was studied by batch experiments. The effect of acid-treatment of adsorbent and change in temperature, mass of LM-1, pH and selected competing ions was evaluated. The adsorption process was strongly influenced by temperature, pH and adsorbent dosage. The percentage F removal increased the presence of the nitrate and the chlorate ions but decreased the presence of sulphates, chloride and phosphate ions. Adsorption isotherms were classified according to Giles’ classification and the adsorption data validated using Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms. The data correlated to both the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms although the data fit to the Freundlich model was somehow better. This showed that F adsorption onto LM-1 followed a mixed adsorption mechanism in which physisorption reactions involving intra-particle diffusion of F into mesoporous sites in LM-1 became increasingly important at higher concentrations and temperatures whereas ion-exchange mechanism involving surface OH- appear to dominate at low surface coverage in more alkaline conditions. With maximum adsorption capacity of 10.5 mg/g, LM-1 could be used to remove F water.

Key words: Equilibrium analysis, fluoride adsorption, Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms, Lateritic mineral adsorbent, low-cost adsorbents.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1996-0786
print ISSN: 1996-0786