Excess fluoride in drinking water is harmful to human health and therefore it needs to be removed from water before consumption. The potential of locally available mixed Mukondeni clay soils (MMCS) as a cheap adsorbent for the removal of fluoride from aqueous solution was investigated. Characterisation of MMCS was done by X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared and Brunauer Emmett Teller. Cation exchange capacity and point of zero charge of the clays were determined using standard methods. Parameters optimised included: contact time, adsorbent dosage, initial fluoride concentration, pH and temperature. Optimisation experiments were done in batch procedures. The results showed that the optimum conditions for the defluoridation of water using MMCS are 60 min, 1.5 g, 9 mg/L, 1.5/100 S/L ratios, pH of 2 and a temperature of 25 °C. The equilibrium isotherm regression parameter (R2 = 0.95) showed that the Freundlich isotherm gave a better fit than the Langmuir isotherm (R2 = 0.52) which indicates multilayer adsorption. Kinetic studies revealed that the adsorption followed pseudo second order kinetics. This study indicated that locally available MMCS are good in the defluoridation of groundwater but modification through blending with metal oxide modified clays can enhance their adsorption capacity.
- groundwater and adsorption mechanisms
- Mukondeni clay soils
- First received 29 April 2016.
- Accepted in revised form 8 September 2016.
- © IWA Publishing 2016