The remediation of heavy metal contaminated water in the Wonderfonteinspruit catchment area using algae and natural zeolite

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr. E. Muzenda and Dr. J. Zimba en_US
dc.contributor.author Diale, Palesa Promise
dc.date.accessioned 2012-06-05T11:59:01Z
dc.date.available 2012-06-05T11:59:01Z
dc.date.issued 2012-06-05
dc.date.submitted 2011-10-04
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/4907
dc.description M. Tech. en_US
dc.description.abstract Gold (Au) mining in South Africa resulted in vast volumes of hazardous waste being generated. Poor management of most of the tailings dams has resulted in the release of acid mine drainage, which caused stream water and soil contamination with their run-offs. The consequence of mine closure has not only been observed in large-scale land degradation, but also in widespread pollution of surface water and groundwater in the Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment Area (WCA). Thus, clean-up methods must be developed in order to remove heavy metals from contaminated water bodies in this area. The efficacy of algae, zeolite and zeolite functionalized with humic acid in reducing the concentration of the heavy metals iron (Fe3+), zinc (Zn2+), manganese (Mn2+) and nickel (Ni2+) to acceptable levels in WCA was investigated in this study. It is also envisaged that the heavy metals to be removed from contaminated water can be useful in various industries. A sampling exercise was undertaken with the aim of identifying the heavy metals that contaminate the water in the catchment, as well as identify the priority heavy metals for laboratory sorption tests. Batch experiments were conducted to study the adsorption behavior of natural zeolite clinoptilolite and algae Desmodesmus sp. with respect to Fe3+, Mn2+, Ni2+, and Zn2+. The data was analysed using the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms. Two kinetic models namely, pseudo-first order and pseudo second order were also tested to fit the data. It was found that the concentration of Fe3+, Mn2+, Ni2+ and Zn2+ was 115 mg/L, 121 mg/L, 26.5 mg/L and 6.9 mg/L from the sampled water bodies in the WCA, respectively. The Langmuir isotherm was found to correlate the adsorption of Fe3+, Mn2+, Ni2+, and Zn2+ better, with the adsorption capacity of 11.9 mg/g, 1.2 mg/g, 1.3 mg/g, and 14.7 mg/g, for the functionalized zeolite (FZ), respectively. The algae system gave adsorption capacities of 1.523 mg/g, 144 mg/g and 71.94 mg/g for Fe3+, Mn2+ and Ni2+; respectively. Pseudo second-order equation was found to be the best fit for the adsorption of heavy metals by unfunctionalized zeolite (UFZ) and the algae system. Zeolite functionalization with humic acid increased its uptake ability. The best results for kinetic study was obtained in concentration 120 ppm for Fe3+ and Mn2+, whilst for Ni2+ was at 20 mg/L , which is about the same concentrations found in contaminated water in the WCA (Fe3+ 115 mg/L, Mn2+121 mg/L and Ni2+ 26.5 mg/L). en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Acid mine drainage en_US
dc.subject Groundwater contamination en_US
dc.subject Natural zeolite en_US
dc.title The remediation of heavy metal contaminated water in the Wonderfonteinspruit catchment area using algae and natural zeolite en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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