Removal of Chromium and Nickel from Electroplating Wastewater Using Magnetite Particulate Adsorbent: (1) Effect of pH, Contact Time and Dosage, (2) Adsorption Isotherms and Kinetics

  •  Donatus Dube    
  •  Champaklal Parekh    
  •  Bothwell Nyoni    


Wastewater discharged into municipal sewer systems from electroplating process plants contains a heavy load of metal ions and often requires pre-discharge treatment. Treatment of wastewater to reduce the concentration of metal ions employing an adsorption process has been studied using a wide range of adsorbents. In this work, the concentrations of chromium and nickel ions in wastewater samples from a local electroplating shop were found to be above the limits set out by the Bulawayo City Council, and the Environmental Management Agency, a statutory agency under the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Government of Zimbabwe. Furthermore, the removal of chromium and nickel ions from the wastewater using magnetite as an adsorbent is studied. Magnetite particulate adsorbent used in this experiment has demonstrated to be an effective adsorbent material. At the optimum process operating pH of 4 – 7 the absorbent was able to achieve removal rates of up to 99% for chromium and 98% for nickel. The adsorption processes for chromium and nickel have been proven to be physical in nature using the Dubinin-Radushkevich isotherm model. Also, the adsorption kinetics data fit well with pseudo second-order kinetic model.

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