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Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering

Print version ISSN 0104-6632

Braz. J. Chem. Eng. vol.31 no.1 São Paulo Jan./Mar. 2014 



Investigation of adsorption of the dyestuff astrazon red violet 3rn (basic violet 16) on montmorillonite clay



B. A. FilI,II,*; M. T. YilmazI; S. BayarI; M. T. ElkocaI

IAtatürk University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Environmental Engineering, 25240, Erzurum - T urkey. Phone: + 90 442 2314812, Fax: + 90 442 2314806. E-mail:
IIBalıkesir University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Environmental Engineering, 10145, Balıkesir - Turkey




In this study, color removal by absorption from synthetically prepared wastewater was investigated using montmorillonite clay by adsorption. As dyestuff Astrazon Red Violet 3RN (Basic Violet 16) was used. Experimental parameters selected were pH, temperature, agitation speed, initial dyestuff concentration, adsorbent dosage and ionic strength. It was established that adsorption rate increased with increasing pH, temperature, dye concentration and agitation speed, but decreased with increased ionic strength and adsorbent dosage. Adsorption equilibrium data obtained by a series of experiments carried out in a water bath were employed with common isotherm equations such as Langmuir, Freundlich, Temkin, Elovich and Dubinin–Radushkevich. It was found that the Langmuir equation appears to fit the equilibrium data better than the other models. Furthermore, the fit of the kinetic data to common kinetic models such as the pseudo-first-order, second-order, Elovich and intraparticle diffusion models was tested to elucidate the adsorption mechanism. Kinetic data conformed to the pseudo-second-order model, indicating chemisorptions. In addition, the thermodynamic parameters activation energy, Ea, enthalpy ΔH*, entropy, ΔS*, and free energy change, ΔG*, were calculated. The values of the calculated parameters indicated that physical adsorption of ARV on the clay was dominant and that the adsorption process was endothermic.

Keywords:  Adsorption; Isotherm models; Kinetic models; Montmorillonite; Thermodynamic parameters.




In waste waters of the textile industry, dyes are major water pollutants, even in very low concentration. Dye wastewater from the dye manufacturing and textile industries may show toxic or carcinogenic effects on living things when discharged into rivers and lakes, changing their biological life (Kumar et al., 1998). Textile dye wastewater can contain chemicals, salts, acids, bases, chlorinated organic compounds, and occasionally heavy metals, together with the complex dye.

Contemporarily, the most common methods of textile wastewater treatment include: adsorption (Mahmoodi, 2011), biosorption (Somasekhara Reddy et al., 2012), coagulation/flocculation (Man et al., 2012), ozonation (van Leeuwen et al., 2009), membrane filtration (Molinari et al., 2004), electrocoagulation (Aoudj et al., 2010) and photocatalytic removal (Gondal et al., 2012).

Adsorption is a well-known equilibrium separation process. The adsorption process has been shown to be an effective and attractive method for the treatment of industrial wastewaters containing colored dyes, heavy metals and other inorganic and organic impurities. Currently, adsorption processes have been studied because of their low cost and easy access. Also, dyes can be effectively removed by an adsorption process in which dissolved dye compounds attach themselves to the surface of adsorbents. Various adsorbents such as: activated carbon (Khaled et al., 2009; Bangash and Alam, 2009; Schimmel et al., 2010), flay ash (Lin et al., 2008), sawdust (Bello et al., 2010), lignite (Pentari et al., 2009), bentonite (Bulut et al., 2008), sepiolite (Dogan et al., 2007), montmorillonite (Fil and Özmetin, 2012), polymers (Kim and Guiochon, 2005), resin (Coşkun, 2011), zeolite (Mesko et al., 2001), macroporous hydrogel (Li et al., 2010), orange peel (Mafra et al., 2013), chitosan (Piccin et al., 2011), etc. have been widely studied for dye removal from aqueous solution.

This study reports, for the first time, the feasibility of employing montmorillonite as a low-cost alternative adsorbent for Astrazon Red Violet 3RN (basic violet 16) color removal from aqueous solution. The effects of the initial ARV concentration, pH, agitation speed, adsorbent dosage, ionic strength and reaction temperature on ARV adsorption onto montmorillonite were studied. Adsorption isotherms, kinetics, and thermodynamic parameters were also evaluated and discussed.




Samples of montmorillonite were obtained from Süd-Chemie (Balikesir, Turkey). The chemical composition and physical properties of montmorillonite are given in Table 1 (Fil, 2007). All reagents used were of at least analytical grade.



ARV (basic violet 16) dye was obtained from Dyestar (Frankfurt, Germany) and has the chemical structure shown in Figure 1 (molecular weight 368.943 g mol-1 and molecular formula C23H29ClN2) (Rashidian et al., 2009).




The effects of variables including pH, agitation speed, temperature, ionic strength, adsorbent dosage, contact time and initial dye concentration on the adsorptive removal of Astrazon Red Violet 3RN were investigated in batch mode. In each experimental run, 100 mL of ARV solution of different concentrations from 25 mg L-1 to 750 mg L-1 and varying amounts montmorillonite were kept in a 250 ml erlenmeyer flask. Constant agitation speeds (Edmund Bühler) from 100 rpm to 400 rpm and temperatures from 293 K to 333 K were maintained for all the adsorption experiments. Ionic strength of aqueous solutions was adjusted with NaCl. The solution pH was adjusted by addition of dilute aqueous solutions of HCl (0.01M) or NaOH (0.01M) using a WTW multi 340i pH-meter. Samples were taken at different contact times to determine the time required to reach equilibrium. After centrifugation at 10000 rpm, the absorbance of the supernatant was measured at 530 nm (Rashidian et al., 2009) (Spekol-1100  UV-Vis spectrophotometer) and then converted into concentration.

The adsorption equilibrium of ARV was calculated using the following relationship:



where C0 (mg L-1) and Ct (mg L-1) are the initial dye concentration and after the equilibrium time, respectively. V is the volume of the solution (L) and m is the mass (g) of montmorillonite.

The adsorption capacity of ARV was calculated for kinetic studies by the following equation:



where C0 (mg L-1) and Ct (mg L-1) are the initial dye concentration and that after time t, respectively.



Adsorption Isotherm Models

In these experiments, 0.05 g of montmorillonite was added to 100 mL of different initial dye concentration solutions. After adsorption, the new dyestuff concentration Ce (mg L-1) was used to calculate the equilibrium dyestuff concentration adsorption qe (mg g-1) using Eq. (1).

Generally experimental adsorption measurement results can be expressed with an equilibrium adsorption isotherm (Aroguz et al., 2008).

Adsorption of ARV at equilibrium was studied as a function of concentration and is shown in Figure 2. Adsorption of dye molecules onto the adsorbent particles rapidly increases with increasing initial dye concentration, then reaches a plateau. This is the maximum adsorption capacity (qmax) of the adsorbent material. The maximum adsorption capacity of Astrazon Red Violet 3RN on montmorillonite was calculated as 526.149 mg g-1. The equilibrium dye adsorption increases with increasing initial dyestuff concentration (Gurses et al., 2006).

Adsorption isotherms describe the equilibrium requirement for a molecule to adsorb on the adsorbent surface (Langmuir, 1918; Doğan, 2001). To decide which isotherm will better describe the adsorption, all of the experimental data has to be analyzed with all of the isotherm equations. The most frequently used isotherms for explaining the adsorption processes are the Freundlich, Langmuir, Temkin, Elovich and Dubinin–Radushkevich isotherms (Table 2) (Dubinin and Radushkevich, 1947; Elovich and Larionov, 1962; Freundlich, 1906; Langmuir, 1918; Temkin, 1941). The best fit model was selected based on the determination coefficient (R2). The graphs of all isotherm models are shown in Figure 2; the correlation coefficients and the values of intercept were collected in Table 3. Furthermore, as seen from Table 3 and Figure 2, correlation coefficients were highest for the Langmuir isotherm model (R2=0.9901). The Langmuir isotherm is based on the assumption that maximum adsorption corresponds to a saturated monolayer of dye molecules on the adsorbent surface. The energy of adsorption is constant and there is no transmigration of adsorbate in the plane of the surface of montmorillonite (Fil    et al., 2012; Kuleyin and Aydin, 2011; Tehrani-Bagha et al., 2011).

Adsorption Kinetic Models

Numerous kinetic models explaining the mechanism by which pollutants are adsorbed have been suggested (Table 4) (Chien and Clayton, 1980; Ho and McKay, 1998; Lagergren and Svenska, 1898; Weber and Morris, 1963). The kinetics of adsorption is important because this is what controls the efficiency of the process.

The correlation coefficient R2 showed that the pseudo-second-order model, indicative of a chemisorptions mechanism, fit the experimental data slightly better than the Elovich and the pseudo-first order models. In other words, the adsorption of ARV could be approximated more favorably by the pseudo- second-order kinetic model (Ho and McKay, 1998a,b). The calculated k2 (g mg-1 min-1) and R2 values are listed in Table 5 and plots for all the kinetic models are shown in Figure 3. Similar results were found for methylene blue adsorption onto montmorillonite (Fil and Özmetin, 2012), methylene blue and crystal violet adsorption onto palygorskite (Al-Futaisi et al., 2007), basic yellow 28, methylene blue, and malachite green adsorption onto Iranian kaolin, (Tehrani-Bagha et al., 2011) and methylene blue and methyl violet adsorption onto sepiolite (Dogan et al., 2007). The results also indicated that an intra-particle diffusion mechanism played a significant role in the adsorption process, while the adsorption rate was controlled by a film-diffusion step (Ugurlu and Karaoglu, 2011; Yousef et al., 2011).

Effect of Initial Dye Concentration

The effect of initial Astrazon Red Violet 3RN (basic violet16) dyestuff concentrations on the adsorption rate was examined in the 25, 50, 100, 250, 500 and 750 mg L-1concentration range at 293 K, 300 rpm agitation speed, pH: 4.0 and 0 mol L-1 NaCl concentration (Figure 4). These experimental results showed that the rate of adsorption on montmorillonite surface was linearly proportional to dyestuff concentration and that the adsorption capacity increased with increasing concentration.



The initial dye concentration is an important driving force. The amount of dye adsorbed increased from 49.042 mg g-1 to 526.149 mg g-1 for 0.05 g/100 mL adsorbent when the initial dye concentration was increased from 25 mg L-1 to 750 mg L-1, respectively. It was clear that the removal of dye was dependent on the concentration of dye. Although the increase of dye concentration increased the amount of dye adsorbed, the percent color removal decreased. These results were comparable to other similar studies (Vimonses et al., 2009).

Effect of Initial Solution pH

The ARV dyestuff adsorption rate was examined during 30 minutes on montmorillonite samples at 293 K, 300 rpm agitation speed with solutions of initial pH 4-10 (Figure 5). These experimental results proved that the adsorption rate is linearly proportional to the starting pH value. When pH was increased from 4.0 to 10.0, the adsorption capacity increased from 194.122 mg g-1 to 198.569 mg g-1. The solution pH value influences the adsorbent surface charge. Ion adsorption is affected by the initial solution pH value and the change in pH influence the adsorption process. Removal of ARV dyestuff on the montmorillonite surface increased with initial solution pH value. Similar results are available in the literature (Vučurović et al., 2011).



Effect of Agitation Speed

The effect of agitation speed on the Astrazon Red Violet 3RN (ARV) dyestuff adsorption rate was examined at 293 K, pH: 4.0, 0.5 g L-1 of adsorbent, 100 mg L-1 initial dyestuff concentration and agitation speeds of 100, 200, 300, and 400 rpm. Agitation speed is a very important parameter for adsorption phenomena because its effect on the outer boundary layer. For adsorption in the batch reactor, agitation quality is a very important parameter for all mass transfer processes. Figure 6 shows that the adsorption rate increased with the increase in agitation speed. When the agitation speed increased from 100 rpm to 400 rpm, the maximum adsorption capacity increased from 147.330 mg g-1 to 198.097 mg g-1. Similar results are available in the literature (Crini et al., 2007; Dogan et al., 2009).



Effect of Adsorbent Dosage

The effect of adsorbent dose on the amount of dye adsorbed is shown in Figure 7. The adsorption rate of ARV onto montmorillonite in aqueous solutions was studied for montmorillonite amounts of 0.25, 0.50, 0.75 and 1.00 g L-1 at 293 K, 300 rpm agitation speed, 100 mg L-1 dyestuff concentration, 0 mol L-1 NaCl concentration and pH 4.0.



Figure 7 shows that the adsorption capacity decreased with increasing montmorillonite solid-liquid suspension ratio. With increasing adsorbent dosage the number of available sorption sites increases and the percentage of ARV increased too. When the adsorbent dosage increased from 0.25 g L-1 to 1.00 g L-1 removal of color increased from 63.499% to 99.402%, but the adsorption capacity decreased  from 253.998 mg g-1 to 99.402 mg g-1. This decrease in adsorption capacity could be explained by unsaturated contaminant sorption sites during the sorption process (Varlikli et al., 2009; Vimonses et al., 2009).

Effect of Ionic Strength

The effect of electrolyte concentrations on the adsorption capacity of ARV on montmorillonite in aqueous solutions was examined with 0 M, 1x10-1 M, 1x10-2 M, and 1x10-3 M NaCl solutions at pH: 4.0, 293 K, 300 rpm agitation speed, 0.5 g L-1 adsorbent dosage and 100 mg L-1 initial dye concentration. Figure 8 shows that adsorption rate decreased with the increase in electrolyte concentration.



  It is important to investigate this ion effect on adsorption because industrial wastewaters always contain contaminants like inorganic salts. Therefore, the effect of salt concentration was studied on adsorption of the dye. ARV adsorption onto the montmorillonite surface was affected negatively by NaCl in aqueous solutions. When the NaCl concentration was increased from 0 mol L-1 to 0.1 mol L-1, the adsorption capacity decreased from 194.12 mg g-1 to 179.05 mg g-1. Increase of the ionic strength reduces the electrostatic attraction between the adsorbate molecule and the adsorbent surface and the adsorption capacity decreases. With increasing solution ionic strength, the suspension final pH also decreased. Therefore, positive ions increase at the montmorillonite surface, screening electrostatic interactions between charges and decreasing adsorption (Dogan et al., 2009; Weng et al., 2009)

Effect of Solution Temperature

The effect of temperature on Astrazon Red Violet 3RN (basic violet 16) adsorption onto montmorillonite from aqueous solution was studied at 293, 303, 313, 323 and 333 K at pH 4.0, 300 rpm agitation speed, 0 M NaCl concentration, 0.5 g L-1 adsorbent dosage and 100 mg L-1 initial dye concentration. Increasing the temperature accelerates adsorbate diffusion in the outer boundary layer and adsorbent can move into the inside pores because of the solution viscosity decrease. In addition, a temperature increase or decrease will change the adsorbent capacity for a particular adsorbate.

Figure 9 shows the effect of temperature on the removal of ARV by montmorillonite. Adsorption of ARV onto montmorillonite increased from 194.12 mg g-1 to 199.06 mg g-1 with increasing temperature from 293 K to 333 K. The adsorption process was an endothermic reaction (Dogan et al., 2004). The increase in dye adsorption with temperature suggests that the dye penetrates inside montmorillonite with interaction between montmorillonite hydroxyl groups and cationic groups of the dye molecule at higher temperature (Hameed and Ahmad, 2009; Karaca et al., 2008).



Activation Energy and Thermodynamic Parameters

Activation Energy

The temperature dependence of the adsorption rate constant can be given as follows (Al-Ghouti et al., 2005; Laidler and Meiser, 1999):



where Ea activation energy (kJ mol-1), k0, Arrhenius constant, Rg, universal gas constant (8.314 J mol-1 K-1). Figure 10 shows a plot of lnk2 against to 1/T, giving a straight line. In aqueous solution, the activation energy was found to be 35.474 kJ mol-1 for ARV adsorption onto montmorillonite. The activation energy basically gives an idea whether adsorption    is physical or chemical. A low activation energy   (0–88 kJ mol-1) suggests physical and a high activation energy (88–400 kJ mol-1) chemical adsorption (Fil and Özmetin, 2012; Nollet et al., 2003).



Thermodynamic Parameters

Thermodynamic activation parameters for Gibbs free energy (ΔG*), enthalpy (ΔH*) and entropy (ΔS*) changes were calculated using the Eyring equation (Laidler and Meiser, 1999):



where, respectively, kb and h are the Boltzmann (Rg/N, 1.38.10-23 joule mol-1 K-1) and Planck (6.62.10-34 joule s) constants. A plot of ln(k2/T) against to 1/T gives a straight line with slope -(ΔH*/Rg) and extrapolated intercept [ln(kb/h)+(ΔS*/Rg)] (Figure 11). The relationship between the activation Gibbs free energy, enthalpy and entropy obey the equation:





From Eq. (13), the enthalpy (ΔH*) and entropy (ΔS*) values were found to be, respectively, 24.003 kJ mol-1 and -0.0530 kJ mol-1 K-1 and the Gibbs free energy (ΔG*) for ARV from Eq. (14) at 293 K is thus 39.541 kJ mol-1. Thermodynamic coefficients are given in Table 6.



Semi-Empirical Kinetic Model

The adsorption capacity data obtained from the mass balance equation obeyed the pseudo-second-order equation, and selected parameters affected the adsorption capacity and rate. Hence, based on Eq. (9), a semi-empirical kinetic model including the effects of initial dye concentration, solution pH, agitation speed, adsorbent dosage, ionic strength, temperature, and contact time was developed by means of the Statistica 6.0 programme using 162 experimentally obtained results and is given as follows:



where [H+] is hydrogen ions concentration (mol L-1), (AS) is agitation speed (rpm), (AD) is the adsorbent dosage (g L-1), [I] is NaCl concentration (mol L-1), C0 is the initial Astrazon Red Violet 3RN concentration (mg L-1), T is the reaction temperature (K), and t is the contact time (min). The correlation between experimentally obtained (t/qt) and predicted (t/qt) values is given in Figure 12.




From the experimental results for Astrazon Red Violet 3RN (basic violet 16) adsorption onto the montmorillonite surface it could be concluded from this study that:

  • Maximum adsorption capacity was 526.149 mg g-1 from adsorption equilibrium experiments.
  • Different adsorption isotherm models were applied and the fit of the experimental data was most suitable for the Langmuir isotherm.
  • 30 minutes was enough to reach adsorption equilibrium.
  • Adsorption kinetic models were applied and the pseudo-second-order kinetics model was the most suitable.
  • Adsorption capacity increased with increasing pH, initial dye concentration, agitation speed and temperature and decreased with adsorbent dosage and electrolyte concentration.
  • The activation energy for adsorption of ARV onto the montmorillonite surface in aqueous solution was determined to be 35.474 kJ mol-1.
  • The enthalpy (ΔH*) value was 32.880 kJ mol-1.
  • The entropy (ΔS*) value was -0.07116 kJ mol-1 K-1.
  • The Gibbs free energy (ΔG*) value at 293 K was 53.731 kJ mol-1.



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Submitted: April 25, 2012
Accepted: March 27, 2013



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