Effect of pH, Initial Concentration, Background Electrolyte, and Ionic Strength on Cadmium Adsorption by TiO2 and γ-Al2O3 Nanoparticles

Document Type: Original Research Paper


Soil Science Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Urmia University, P.O.Box 57159-44931, Urmia, Iran


The entrance of Cd (II) to aqueous environments causes a major problem to human health. The current article examines the efficiency of TiO2 and γ-Al2O3 nanoparticles in Cd (II) removal from aqueous medium as influenced by different chemical factors, such as pH, initial concentration, background electrolyte, and ionic strength, in accordance with standard experimental methods. It conducts Batch experiments, fitting various isotherm models (Freundlich, Langmuir, Temkin, and Dubinin-Radushkevich) to the equilibrium data. Saturation indices (SI) of TiO2 and γ-Al2O3 nanosorbents indicate that adsorption is a predominant mechanism for Cd (II) removal from aqueous solution, giving maximum Cd (II) adsorption rates of 3348 and 1173 mg/kg for TiO2 and γ-Al2O3 nanoparticles, respectively, both obtained at the highest pH level (pH = 8) as well as the highest initial Cd (II) concentration (equal to 80 mg/ L). Cadmium removal efficiency with TiO2 and γ-Al2O3 nanoparticles has increased by raising pH from 6 to 8. The Freundlich adsorption isotherm model could fit the experimental equilibrium data well at different pH levels. Also, it has been revealed that cadmium adsorption drops as the ionic strength is increased. The maximum Cd (II) adsorption (1625 mg/kg) has been attained at 0.01 M ionic strength in the presence of NaCl. Thermodynamic calculations demonstrate the spontaneous nature of Cd (II) adsorption by TiO2 and γ-Al2O3 nanoparticles. The former (TiO2) have high adsorption capacities, suggesting they are probably effective metal sorbents, compared to the latter (γ-Al2O3).


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