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AAS, XRPD, SEM/EDS, and FTIR characterization of Zn2+ retention by calcite, calcite–kaolinite, and calcite–clinoptilolite minerals
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In this study, the sorption behavior of Zn2+ on calcite, kaolinite, and clinoptilolite, in addition to mixtures of calcite with kaolinite and clinoptilolite, was investigated at various loadings and mixture compositions using atomic absorption spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, and Fourier transform infrared techniques. According to the obtained results, within the experimental operating conditions, the sorption capacity was enhanced with increasing amount of calcite in both types of mixtures. Under neutral–alkaline pH conditions and high loadings, the order of Zn2+ retention was observed as calcite > clinoptilolite > kaolinite. The experiments on the retention of Zn2+ by pure calcite under conditions of oversaturation showed that the uptake process proceeds via an initial adsorption mechanism (possibly ion-exchange type) followed by a slower mechanism that leads to the overgrowth of the hydrozincite phase, Zn5(OH)6(CO3)2.