Fixed-bed study of ammonia removal from aqueous solutions using natural zeolite

Publication Date27 May 2014
Pages144-158
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/WJSTSD-05-2013-0022
Date27 May 2014
AuthorAhmad Mashal,Jehad Abu-Dahrieh,Ashraf A. Ahmed,Lukumon Oyedele,No’man Haimour,Ahmad Al-Haj-Ali,David Rooney
SubjectPublic policy & environmental management,Environmental technology & innovation
Fixed-bed study of ammonia
removal from aqueous solutions
using natural zeolite
Ahmad Mashal and Jehad Abu-Dahrieh
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering,
Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK
Ashraf A. Ahmed
School of Planning, Architecture, and Civil Engineering,
Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK
Lukumon Oyedele
Bristol Enterprise and Innovation Centre, Bristol Business School,
University of the West of England, Bristol, UK
No’man Haimour
Department of Chemical Engineering, King Faisal University, Al-Hassa, Saudi Arabia
Ahmad Al-Haj-Ali
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan, and
David Rooney
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast,UK
Abstract
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the performance of natu ral Jordanian zeolite
tuff to remove ammonia from aqueous solutions using a laboratory batch method and fixed-bed
column apparatus. Equilibrium data were fitted to Langmuir and Freundlich models.
Design/methodology/approach – Column experiments were conducted in packed bed column.
The used apparatus consisted of a bench-mounted glass column of 2.5 cm inside diameter and 100cm
height (column volume = 490 cm
3
). The column was packed with a certain amount of zeolite to give the
desired bed height. The feeding solution was supplied from a 30 liter plastic container at the beginning
of each experiment and fed to the column down-flow through a glass flow meter having a working
range of 10-280 ml/min.
Findings – Ammonium ion exchange by natural Jordanian zeolite data were fitted by Langmuir and
Freundlich isotherms. Continuous sorption of ammonium ions by natural Jordanian zeolite tuff has proven
to be effective in decreasing concentrations ranging from 15-50 mg NH
4
-N/L down to levels below 1 mg/l.
Breakthrough time increased by increasing the bed depth as well as decreasing zeolite particle size,
solution flow-rate, initial NH
4
þ
concentration and pH. Sorption of ammonium by the zeolite under the
tested conditions gave the sorption capacity of 28 mgNH
4
-N/L at 201C, and 32 mg NH
4
-N/L at 301C.
Originality/value – This research investigates the performance of natural Jordanian zeolite tuff to
remove ammonia from aqueous solutions using a laboratory batch method and fixed-bed column
apparatus. The equilibrium data of the sorption of Ammonia were plotted by using the Langmuir and
Freundlich isotherms, then the experimental data were compared to the predictions of the above
equilibrium isotherm models. It is clear that the NH
4
þ
ion exchange data fitted better with Langmuir
isotherm thanwith Freundlich model andgave an adequate correlation coefficient value.
Keywords Diffusion, Science, Ammonium removal, Breakthrough curve, Natural zeolite, Isotherm
Paper type Research paper
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
www.emeraldinsight.com/2042-5945.htm
WorldJour nal of Science, Technology
and Sustainable Development
Vol. 11 No. 2, 2014
pp. 144-158
rEmeraldGroup PublishingLimited
2042-5945
DOI 10.1108/W JSTSD-05-2013-0022 The authors thank Debra H. Phillips for her constructive comments on the paper.
144
WJSTSD
11,2

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