Combined diffusion model for the sorption of cadmium, copper, and zinc ions onto bone char

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1511-1522
Journal / PublicationEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2001
Externally publishedYes


The ability of bone char to remove three single-component metals (namely, cadmium, copper and zinc) from aqueous solutions has been studied. Equilibrium isotherms have been measured and analyzed using a Langmuir isotherm model. A series of batch contact time experiments were performed to study the effect of sorbent mass and initial metal ion concentration for the three systems. A new film-pore diffusion model has been applied to the batch contact time results, and good correlation is obtained between theoretical predictions and experimental data. A further extension to the new model was made to include a surface diffusion term. The agreement between theoretical results and experimental data improved as the sum of the squares of the errors (SSE) improved by around 20% for cadmium and zinc but by 50% for copper. Therefore, the sorptions of cadmium and zinc ions onto bone char are primarily film-pore diffusion controlled, but for the copper system film-pore-surface diffusion must be considered.

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