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Adsorption Behaviors and Mechanisms of Methyl Orange on Heat-Treated Palygorskite Clays

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journal contribution
posted on 31.10.2012, 00:00 by Hao Chen, Aiguo Zhong, Junyong Wu, Jie Zhao, Hua Yan
Understanding completely the interaction of clay mineral and anionic dye is very important for the applications of clay minerals. In this paper, the adsorption behaviors of heat-treated palygorskite clays for methyl orange (MO) from an aqueous medium were studied using equilibrium batch and theoretic calculation techniques. The crystal structure and surface appearance of the heat-treated samples were studied using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The adsorption results reveal that a higher calcining temperature helps in improving removal performance of palygorskite clay for methyl orange. The isothermal adsorption experiments show that there is almost no adsorption at low dye concentrations but a sudden linear increase occurs when the dye concentration exceeds to a certain value. A lower change point is observed for 700 °C treated sample compared with that of the natural sample. The leaching of exchangeable Mg2+ ions located in palygorskite should be a key factor affecting the adsorption capacity. Both the experimental and theoretical studies suggest that the adsorption of MO onto heat-treated palygorskite clay is controlled by the two mechanisms: for samples treated at lower temperatures (<300 °C), the hydrogen bonding between oxygen groups of −SO3 (anionic head groups of MO) and H+ of both the bound zeolitic water and coordinated water should be important. While for samples calcined at higher temperature (>400 °C), electrostatic interaction between the dye–Mg2+ complexes and negatively charged surface of heat-treated palygorskite clay becomes dominant. In addition, the latter becomes stronger with the increasing the calcination temperature, which can be ascribed to the formation of a higher ratio of complexes and stronger negatively charged surface of the adsorbent caused by leaching of more metal ions. This work provides a deep insight into the interaction of heat-treated palygorskite clay and anionic dye, which paves the way for their practical applications in anionic dye adsorption.