This study showed that kaolinite clay modified with Moringa oleifera pods is a promising low cost adsorbent for the removal of metals from aqueous solution because the resultant composite has higher adsorption capacities, and hence a better metal ions removal efficiency. The efficiencies of these adsorbents for the removal of Pb (II) and Cd (II) ions from aqueous solutions were studied as a function of pH, time, adsorbate concentration and adsorbent dose. Adsorption results showed that pH did significantly affect removal of heavy metal ions between pH 3 and 6. Increasing contact time and initial metal ion concentration increased the sorption capacity of the adsorbent for the metal ions. Adsorbent dosage indicated mainly surface phenomena involving sharing of electrons between the adsorbent surface and the metal ion species. The adsorption of metal ions from aqueous solutions of both metal ions at different initial metal ion concentrations reduced the initial adsorption rates of the adsorption of Pb (II) and Cd (II) by unmodified and modified kaolinite clay.
Keywords/Phrase: Kaolinite clay, adsorption, heavy metals, pH, cadmium, lead.