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Physicochemical characterization of the retardation of aqueous Cs+ ions by natural kaolinite and clinoptilolite minerals
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The aim of this study was to carry out kinetic, thermodynamic, and surface characterization of the sorption of Cs+ ions on natural minerals of kaolinite and clinoptilolite. The results showed that sorption followed pseudo-second-order kinetics. The activation energies were 9.5 and 13.9 kJ/mol for Cs+ sorption on kaolinite and clinoptilolite, respectively. Experiments performed at four different initial concentrations of the ion revealed that the percentage sorption of Cs+ on clinoptilolite ranged from 90 to 95, compared to 28 to 40 for the kaolinite case. At the end of a 1 week period, the percentage of Cs+ desorption from clinoptilolite did not exceed 7%, while it amounted to more than 30% in kaolinite, indicating more stable fixation by clinoptilolite. The sorption data were best described using Freundlich and D–R isotherm models. Sorption showed spontaneous and exothermic behavior on both minerals, with ΔH0 being −6.3 and −11.4 kJ/mol for Cs+ uptake by kaolinite and clinoptilolite, respectively. Expanding the kaolinite interlayer space from 0.71 to 1.12 nm using DMSO intercalation, did not yield a significant enhancement in the sorption capacity of kaolinite, indicating that the surface and edge sites of the clay are more energetically favored. EDS mapping and elemental analysis of the surface of kaolinite and clinoptilolite revealed more intense signals on the surface of the latter with an even distribution of sorbed Cs+ onto the surfaces of both minerals.