Removal of Benzene Toluene and m-Xylene from aqueous solution by Fe-ZSM-5 nano-zeolite synthesized from coal fly ash

Document Type : Research Article


1 Ph.D. Student, Department of Chemical Engineering, Ayatollah Amoli Branch, Islamic Azad University, Amol, Iran.

2 Professor, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Mazandaran, P. O. Box 47416- 95447, Babolsar, Iran.


In this study, a meso-porous Fe-ZSM-5 nano-zeolite (SiO2/Al2O3=40) was synthesized from a type of coal fly ash (CFA) containing high amount of muscovite plates by hydrothermal treatment and then the physicochemical characterization of CFA and Fe-ZSM-5 was examined using various techniques. The final product (Fe-ZSM-5) was applied in the simultaneous removal of benzene (B), toluene (T) and m-xylene (X) from aqueous solutions. The effect of adsorption parameters including pH solution, amount of dosage, contact time, initial concentration of BTX and temperature versus BTX removal efficiency was assessed under batch experiments. The maximum adsorption capacity of BTX (qmax) was obtained at optimum condition of pH=7 and 90 min (qmax; B=9.16<T=9.57<X=9.9 mg/L). Kinetic and isotherm studies showed that the adsorption equilibrium data was in good agreement with pseudo-second order and Freundlich models. In addition, thermodynamic assessments illustrated that BTX adsorption onto Fe-ZSM-5 nano-zeolite was feasible, exothermic and spontaneous at lower temperature. Based on the obtained empirical results, Fe-ZSM-5 nano-zeolite can be applied as an efficient, green and cost-effective adsorbent to remove hazardous hydrocarbons from aqueous solutions.


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