Factors affecting the adsorption of complexed heavy metals on hydrous Al2O3

H. A. Elliott, C. P. Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Factors influencing the adsorption behavior of heavy metals, viz Cu(II), Zn(II), Cd(II), Pb(II) and Ni(II), onto Al2O3 from aqueous solutions containing complexing ligands were investigated using batch adsorption experiments. For the Cu(II)/NTA/γ-Al2O3 system, increasing the system ionic strength reduced Cu adsorption through activity coefficient and surface electrical double layer effects. The presence of alkaline earth cations (Ca(II) and Mg(II)) also reduced Cu removal from solution by lowering the ability of NTA to prevent Cu(OH)2 precipitation and through specific adsorption to the alumina surface. The adsorption of the heavy metals on Al2O3 from solutions containing NTA followed the sequence: Cu > Zn > Cd > Pb = Ni. Increase in system temperature tended to decrease metal adsorption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1017-1028
Number of pages12
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number6-7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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