Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Prof. E.K. Yanful


The research was performed to assess the potential of nickel smelter slag, an industrial waste, as an adsorbent in the removal of heavy metals from solution. Results from batch studies on the effect of pH, metal-slag contact time, particle size, competition by other ions and slag dose were used to estimate the optimum adsorption conditions of the slag as an adsorbent for Cu, Pb, Cd, Ni and Zn. Adsorption of Cu and Pb were akin to the pseudo second order kinetic model and followed the Langmuir adsorption isotherm model. The calculated k2 values were 0.18 mg g-1min-1 for Pb and 0.14 mg g-1min-1 for Cu. The qm and b values obtained for Pb from the Langmuir plot were 4.05 mg/g and 0.59 L/mg for Pb and qm and b values for Cu were 3.83 mg/g and 0.17 L/mg. Nickel slag has affinity for the metals studied in the order of Pb>Cu>Zn>Cd>Ni. Multiple adsorptions showed that the slag could be used about five more times before it gets exhausted.

Keywords: adsorption, industrial waste, nickel smelter slag, heavy metals