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Preparation and sorption property study of Fe3O4/Al2O3/ZrO2 composite for the removal of cadmium, lead and chromium ions from aqueous solutions

Fekadu Tsegaye
Abi M. Taddesse
Endale Teju
Minbale Aschalew


Fe-Al-Zr ternary mixed oxides composite was synthesized via co-precipitation method for the removal Pb(II), Cd(II) and Cr(VI) ions from aqueous solutions. The as-synthesized materials were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET), scanning electron microscope hyphenated with energy dispersive X-ray diffraction (SEM-EDX) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) techniques. The pH at the point of zero charge (pHpzc) of the sorbent and effect of ionic strength on sorption were also determined. The batch tests were conducted to optimize the various sorption parameters such as pH, adsorbent dose, contact time, speed of agitation and initial metal concentration. The experimental results showed that the adsorbed amounts of Pb(II), Cd(II) and Cr(VI) tend to decrease with increase in pH. Freundlich isotherm model fits better the equilibrium data for the adsorbent. Kinetic data correlated better with both pseudo first order and pseudo second order kinetic models. The spontaneous nature of the adsorption process was also confirmed from thermodynamic grounds. The nanosized adsorbent exhibited an adsorption efficiency of 96.65%, 96.55% and 97.2% for Cd(II), Cr(VI) and Pb(II), respectively, at optimum condition. Experimental results showed that the nanocomposite was effective for the removal of the title heavy metals from aqueous solution.


Bull. Chem. Soc. Ethiop. 2020, 34(1), 105-121.