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J Colloid Interface Sci. 2007 Mar 15;307(2):317-25. Epub 2006 Nov 21.

Modelling the adsorption of Cd(II), Cu(II), Ni(II), Pb(II), and Zn(II) onto Fithian illite.

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Land Resource Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.


Illite samples from Fithian, IL were purified and saturated with Na(+) ions. The acid-base surface chemistry of the Na-saturated illite was studied by potentiometric titration experiments with 0.1, 0.01, and 0.001 M NaNO(3) solutions as the background electrolyte. Results showed that the titration curves obtained at different ionic strengths did not intersect in the studied pH range. The adsorption of Cd(II), Cu(II), Ni(II), Pb(II), and Zn(II) onto illite was investigated as a function of pH and ionic strength by batch adsorption experiments. Two distinct mechanisms of metal adsorption were found from the experimental results: nonspecific ion-exchange reactions at lower pH values on the basal surfaces and 'frayed edges' and specific adsorption at higher pH values on the mineral edges. Ionic strength had a greater effect on the ion-exchange reactions. The binding constants for the five heavy metals onto illite were determined using the least-square fitting computer program FITEQL. Linear free energy relationships were found between the surface binding constants and the first hydrolysis constants of the metals.

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