, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 747–755 | Cite as

Adsorption selectivity of heavy metals by Na-clinoptilolite in aqueous solutions

  • Xinmin LiuEmail author
  • Rui Tian
  • Wuquan Ding
  • Yunhua He
  • Hang Li


Preferential adsorption is important to classification removal of heavy metals in wastewaters. In the present study, the adsorption forces of heavy metal cations M2+ (Pb2+, Zn2+, Cd2+ and Cu2+) onto the Na+-clinoptilolite were analyzed. The selectivity sequence of heavy metal cations was given as Pb2+ > Zn2+ > Cd2+ > Cu2+. The selectivity coefficient \(\left( {K_{{{M \mathord{\left/ {\vphantom {M {\text{Na}}}} \right. \kern-0pt} {\text{Na}}}}} = \frac{{a_{\text{Na}} N_{M} }}{{a_{M} N_{\text{Na}} }}} \right)\) between M2+ and Na+ on the natural zeolite decreased with increasing ion strength, which depends on the effects of hydration volume (steric) and electron configuration of cations (coordination and polarization). The contributions of main factors resulting in the Hofmeister series on porous zeolite were: the ionic steric effects > coordination > non-classical polarization. The interactions between Na+ and zeolite is relatively weak, the electric field near zeolite surface is strong in Na+ system, and the electron configurations of heavy metals are significantly enhanced by the strong electric field using Na-zeolite. Generally, the zeolite can be pretreated by ions with weak polarization, which is helpful to increase the contributions of coordination and polarization because of the strong electric field at the zeolite/water interface in these ionic solutions, and then improve the removal efficiency of heavy metal cations in wastewaters or soils using zeolite.


Heavy metal Polarization Electric field Ion exchange Selectivity 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41877026 and 41530855), the Natural Science Foundation Project of CQ CSTC (cstc2018jcyjAX0318), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (XDJK2017B029) and Doctoral foundation of SWU (SWU116047).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chongqing Key Laboratory of Soil Multi-scale Interfacial Process, College of Resources and EnvironmentSouthwest UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.Chongqing Key Laboratory of Environmental Materials & Remediation TechnologiesChongqing University of Arts and ScienceChongqingChina
  3. 3.Government of Lizhou DistrictGuangyuanChina

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