Enhancing Adsorption Capacity of a Kaolinite Mineral Through Acid Activation and Manual Blending with A 2:1 Clay


  • T. O. Abu University of Ilorin
  • H. I. Adegoke University of Ilorin
  • E. Odebunmi Thomas Adewumi University, Oko
  • M. Shehzad Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois


Kaolinite, Bentonite, Modification, Composites, Adsorption, Heavy metals, Kaolinite, Bentonite, Composites, Adsorption, Heavy metals


The efficiencies of raw and modified kaolinite mineral in removing selected heavy metal ions from their respective aqueous solutions were investigated. The mineral was modified through two different methods; i) activation with HNO3, H2SO4, H3PO4, CH3COOH and C2H2O4 acids to form NK, SK, PK, AK and OK acid activated clays respectively and ii) preparations of 3:1 and 1:1 Kaolinite: Bentonite blends to form UBK and EBK composites respectively through manual blending. The adsorbents were characterized by X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Fourier Transform Infra-Red Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Brunauer Emmett Teller (BET) analysis for surface area determination. The surface area increased in some of the modified clays from 114.9457 m2/g (RK) to 288.685 m2/g (EBK), 205.92 m2/g (UBK), 162.227 m2/g(NK), 151.335 m2/g (SK), and 115.837 m2/g (OK) but reduced to 113.872 m2/g (PK) and 112.865 m2/g (AK) after modification. Adsorption studies were subsequently conducted out to remove Pb2+, Cd2+ and Ni2+ ions from synthetic solutions. Pb2+ was found to be most removed (383.5 mg g-1 (RK), 591.13 mg g-1 (EBK), 576.61 mg g-1 (UBK), 475 mg g-1 (NK), 450 mg g-1 (SK), and 425 mg g-1 (PK), 375 mg g-1 (OK) and 375 mg g-1 (AK)) with highest removals on the composites.


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