Adsorption of heavy metals on kaolinite and montmorillonite: a review
The process of adsorption is considered to be one of the best water treatment technologies around the world. Different heavy metals, due to their toxic and hazardous nature, are possibly the most widespread groundwater contaminants imposing a serious threat to human health. In this review, an attempt has been made to discuss the use of two common clay materials, namely kaolinite and montmorillonite, along with their modified forms for heavy metal removal on the basis of published reports (2008 onwards). The modifications of clays have been attempted by the process of pillaring, intercalation, acid/base activation, functionalization, etc. The adsorption of toxic metals, viz., As, Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Fe, Pb, Mn, Ni, Zn, etc., has been studied predominantly. Montmorillonite and its modified forms have much higher metal adsorption capacity compared to that of kaolinite as well as modified-kaolinite. The modification often boosted the adsorption capacities of the clays, however, reverse trends are also reported in some cases.