Sodium smectite clays were enriched with ferric ions (Argel-Fe and Volclay-Fe) to convert the surface charge of the clays from negative to positive and to use the clays in the discolouration of a synthetic effluent composed of seven anionic dyes (mixed from tartrazine, Brilliant Blue FCF and amaranth). The iron content increased from 5.99% to 11.02% for Argel-Fe and from 5.39% to 10.54% for Volclay-Fe. The efficiency of the discolouration of the anion dye mixture was evaluated by measuring the absorbance of the mixture at 562 nm, where the band with the greatest intensity was found. The contact time required for the system to reach equilibrium was ~5 min for both adsorbents. The kinetic adsorption data supported a pseudo-second-order kinetic model. The experimental data support the dual-site Langmuir–Freundlich isotherm model. The maximum adsorption capacities were 88.68 mg g–1 for Argel-Fe and 392.21 mg g–1 for Volclay-Fe. The enrichment of clays with Fe(III) added functionality to the clays and generated adsorbents with rapid adsorption abilities and high discolouration capacities.

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