Characterization of Akilbenza clay from Cameroon and its performance for the removal of copper(II) ions from aqueous solution

Abstract

Akilbenza clay (Akil) was characterized by XRD, FT-TIR, XRF, EDX, SEM, and N2 gas adsorption. The adsorption performance for Cu(II) ions by this clay was also studied. Akil is composed mainly of kaolinite with mica illite and quartz as minor minerals. The ATR-FTIR analysis shows Si-O-Al, Si-O, Al-O, Si-OH, and Al-OH as the main functional groups. SEM indicates that the clay particles are irregular in shape and size by supported BJH. Akil has a specific surface area of 45.62 m2/g with the presence of both mesopores and micropores. The average pore diameter is 19.4196 nm. XRF and EDX reveal that the clay is mainly composed of silica, aluminum, and iron with a Si/Al ratio of 1.41. For the adsorption performance of Cu(II) ions, a maximum quantity of 76 mg/g was recorded. Freundlich isotherm models best describe the adsorption processes at equilibrium. Kinetic studies revealed that the adsorption process was well explained with pseudo-second-order kinetic model. The value of the mean energy of adsorption from Temkin isotherm and the values from Elovich kinetic model suggest that the adsorption of Copper(II) ions on Akil is a combination between ion exchange and electrostatic attraction. The results obtained can be introduced into the database of knowledge on clay minerals with emphasis on their use for the removal of Cu(II) ions.

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Acknowledgments

The authors sincerely thank the “Institut de Mines Transatlantique de Nantes” for the XRD, XRF, ATR, and BET analysis, and the members of the “Adsorption and Surface” research unit of the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, University of Yaoundé 1, for their suggestions and remarks.

Funding

The authors wish to thank the Ministry of Higher Education of Cameroon for financial support.

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Correspondence to Horace Manga Ngomo.

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Kentsa, E., Abi, C.F., Ngomo, H.M. et al. Characterization of Akilbenza clay from Cameroon and its performance for the removal of copper(II) ions from aqueous solution. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-09502-9

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Keywords

  • Adsorption
  • Chemisorption
  • Akilbenza clay
  • Cu(II) ions
  • Kaolinite