Heavy metal adsorption by a formulated zeolite-Portland cement mixture

Yong Sik Ok, Jae E. Yang, Yong Seon Zhang, Su Jung Kim, Doug Young Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Citations (Scopus)


Large amounts of fine zeolite by-product were produced when natural zeolite was processed into a powder with a specific particle size. In Korea, large piles of this by-product exist with no disposal options. We conducted studies to determine whether mixtures of this by-product with other materials could be used as a substitute to activated carbon for wastewater treatment. A granular material was formulated by mixing zeolite by-product with Portland cement (ZeoAds), and this material was tested for its efficiency for heavy metal removal from aqueous solutions. The ZeoAds removed Pb and Cu in an aqueous solution up to 27.03 and 23.25 mg g-1, respectively. Adsorption kinetics of the ZeoAds for heavy metals was first-order, and the ZeoAds removed about 90% of the Cu within 30 min. At solution pH lower than five, the adsorption specificity of the ZeoAds for metals was Pb > Cu > Cd ≥ Zn. Langmuir isotherms adequately described the adsorption, and adsorption capacity increased as the particle size decreased to 2 mm in diameter. The maximum adsorption capacities of the metals for the ZeoAds were, irrespective of the kinds of metals, about two times greater than those of activated carbon. Column experiments demonstrated that the ZeoAds was more efficient and had a higher sorptive capacity than activated carbon for removing metals from industrial wastewater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of hazardous materials
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Aug 17
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the financial and instrumental supports provided by Agricultural Research Institute at the Kangwon National University.


  • Activated carbon
  • Adsorption
  • Heavy metals
  • Portland cement
  • Zeolite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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