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INVESTIGATION OF CLINOPTILOLITE NATURAL ZEOLITE REGENERATION BY AIR STRIPPING FOLLOWED BY ION EXCHANGE FOR REMOVAL OF AMMONIUM FROM AQUEOUS SOLUTIONS

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Author(s): A. R. Rahmani ، M. T. Samadi ، H. R. Ehsani

Journal: Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering
ISSN 1735-1979

Volume: 6;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 167;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Ammonium removal | Ion exchange | Clinoptilolite natural zeolite | Air stripping | Regeneration

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to regenerate clinoptilolite natural zeolite by air stripping followed by removal of ammonium from aqueous solutions. The research was carried out in continuous system. The characteristics of graded clinoptilolite from Semnan (one of the central provinces in Iran) mines were determined and then regeneration tests were done by contacting of 1 N NaCl solution with given weights of ammonium saturated zeolite. Then the brine of column was transferred to the air stripping column for regeneration. The pH of brine solution before entrance to a stripping column was increased to 11. Air stripped ammonia from the brine was converted to the ammonium ion by using acid scrubber. The outlet effluent from stripping column was collected for reuse. The results showed that the cation exchange capacities were 17.31 to 18.38 mg NH4+/g of zeolite weight. Regeneration efficiency of zeolite by NaCl solution and air stripping was in the range of 92%-97% under various operational conditions. However, the efficiency of acid absorption of released ammonia in stripping process was 55% with a major rejection of the surplus ammonia to the atmosphere. It could be concluded that the method studied may be considered as an advanced and supplementary process for treating effluents of aqueous solution and fishponds in existing treatment plants.
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