Abstract

Natural zeolitic tuff from Brus (Serbia) consisting mostly of clinoptilolite (about 90%) has been investigated for the reduction of the Mg concentration in spring water. The sorption capacity of the zeolite is relatively low (about 2.5 mg Mg g–1 for the initial concentration of 100 mg Mg dm–3). The zeolitic tuff removes Mg from water solutions by ion exchange, which has been demonstrated by energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDS). The extent of ion exchange was influenced by the pH and the initial Mg concentration. Kinetic studies revealed that Lagergen’s pseudo-second order model was followed. Intra-particle diffusion of Mg2+ influenced the ion exchange, but it is not the rate-limiting step. Rather than having to dispose of the Mg-loaded (waste) zeolite, a possible application was tested. Addition to a wastewater with a low concentration of Mg showed that it could successfully make up for the lack of Mg micronutrient and, accordingly, enabled the growth of phosphate-accumulating bacteria A. Junii, increasing the amount of phosphate removed from the wastewater.

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