Simultaneous adsorption of Cd(ii) and phosphate on Al13 pillared montmorillonite†
Al13 pillared montmorillonites (AlPMts) prepared with different Al/clay ratios were used to remove Cd(II) and phosphate from aqueous solution. The structure of AlPMts was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Thermogravimetric analysis (TG), and N2 adsorption–desorption. The basal spacing, intercalated amount of Al13 cations, and specific surface area of AlPMts increased with the increase of the Al/clay ratio. In the single adsorption system, with the increase of the Al/clay ratio, the adsorption of phosphate on AlPMts increased but that of Cd(II) decreased. Significantly enhanced adsorptions of Cd(II) and phosphate on AlPMts were observed in a simultaneous system. For both contaminants, the adsorption of one contaminant would increase with the increase of the initial concentration of the other one and increase in the Al/clay ratio. The enhancement of the adsorption of Cd(II) was much higher than that of phosphate on AlPMt. This suggests that the intercalated Al13 cations are the primary co-adsorption sites for phosphate and Cd(II). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) indicated comparable binding energy of P2p but a different binding energy of Cd3d in single and simultaneous systems. The adsorption and XPS results suggested that the formation of P-bridge ternary surface complexes was the possible adsorption mechanism for promoted uptake of Cd(II) and phosphate on AlPMt.