Sorption of Zn(II) in aqueous solutions by scoria

Jang Soon Kwon, Seong Taek Yun, Soon Oh Kim, Bernhard Mayer, Ian Hutcheon

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57 Citations (Scopus)


We conducted kinetic and equilibrium sorption experiments on removal of Zn(II) from aqueous solutions by scoria (a vesicular pyroclastic rock with basaltic composition) from Jeju Island, Korea, in order to examine its potential use as an efficient sorbent. The batch-type kinetic sorption tests under variable conditions indicated that the percentage of Zn(II) removal by scoria increases with decreasing initial Zn(II) concentration, particle size, and sorbate/sorbent ratio. However, the sorption capacity decreases with the decrease of the initial Zn(II) concentration and sorbate/sorbent ratio. Equilibrium sorption tests show that Jeju scoria has a larger capacity and affinity for Zn(II) sorption than commercial powdered activated carbon (PAC); at initial Zn(II) concentrations of more than 10 mM, the sorption capacity of Jeju scoria is about 1.5 times higher than that of PAC. The acquired sorption data are better fitted to the Langmuir isotherm than the Freundlich isotherm. Careful examination of ionic concentrations in sorption batches suggests that the sorption behavior is mainly controlled by cation exchange and typically displays characteristics of 'cation sorption'. The Zn(II) removal capacity decreases when solution pH decreases because of the competition with hydrogen ions for sorption sites, while the Zn(II) removal capacity increases under higher pH conditions, likely due to hydroxide precipitation. At an initial Zn(II) concentration of 5.0 mM, the removal increases from 70% to 96% with the increase of initial pH from 3.0 to 7.0. We recommend Jeju scoria as an economic and efficient sorbent for Zn(II) in contaminated water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1416-1426
Number of pages11
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Sept


  • Cation exchange
  • Jeju Island, Korea
  • Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms
  • Scoria
  • Sorption
  • Zinc removal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


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