The adsorption of Cu(II) by aluminosilicates with varying Si/Al ratios was investigated. The presence of complex-forming organic ligands [nitrilotriacetate (NTA) and glycine (Gly)] alters metal electrovalency and, in so doing, modifies Cu(II) adsorption characteristics which can influence its fate, biological activity and transport in aquatic systems. Electrostatic attraction by a positively-charged aluminosilicate surface is an important mechanism whereby anion CuNTA- complexes were adsorbed. Two distinct mechanisms are involved in the adsorption of cationic complexes: (1) an exchange reaction at permanent structural sites and (2) interfacial accumulation in response to the pH-dependent surface charge. The contribution of each mechanism to the total amount of CuGly+ adsorbed is related to the Si/A1 ratio. At the critical Si/A1 ratio (Si/A1iso), the aluminosilicates have zero net pH-dependent surface charge. In the absence of specific adsorption, aluminosilicates for which Si/A1 ≥ Si/A1iso can only function as cation exchangers. For Si/A1 < Si/A1iso simultaneous adsorption of anions and cations is possible.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecological Modeling
- Water Science and Technology
- Waste Management and Disposal