Adsorption of copper to different biogenic oyster shell structures

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Wu, Q, Chen, J, Clark, MW & Yu, Y 2014, 'Adsorption of copper to different biogenic oyster shell structures', Applied Surface Science, vol. 311, pp. 264-272.

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The removal of copper from solution by oyster shell powder was investigated for potential wastewater treatment uses. In particular, adsorption behavior differences between the prismatic (PP) and nacreous (NP) shell layers, and how this affects copper removal, were investigated. Experimental results indicated that copper adsorption was highly pH-dependent with optimal copper removal at pH 5.5, where the powdered whole raw shell (RP) removed up to 99.9% of the copper within 24 h at a 10 mg/L initial copper concentration. Langmuir and Freundlich models were used to analyze the isotherm PP, NP and RP data. These results showed a strong homogeneous Langmuir model for low initial copper concentrations (5–30 mg/L) to both RP and PP layer, while strong agreement with a heterogeneous Freundlich model for high initial copper concentrations (30–200 mg/L); nevertheless, a homogeneous Langmuir model provided the best fit for the more dense NP layer across the initial concentration range (5–200 mg/L). The distribution coefficient (Kd) value of PP layer for each initial concentration investigated was substantially higher than the NP layer and it was also found that the PP layer dominated the adsorption process with an adsorption capacity of 8.9 mg/g, while the adsorption capacity of the NP layer was 2.6 mg/g. These differences are believed to be because of the more porous structure of the PP layer, which was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy, infrared spectroscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and thermogravimetry–differential thermal analyses.

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