Comparison of the effectiveness of natural dolomite and modified dolomite in the removal of heavy metals from aqueous solutions

Document Type: Original Article


1 Master’s Student in Environmental Engineering, Environment and Energy Faculty, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran

2 Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering, Environment and Energy Faculty, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran

3 Professor, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran


Presence of heavy metals in water resources is a critical environmental challenge in various communities. To date, various methods have been applied to remove heavy metals, such as the use of cost-efficient materials. The present study aimed to evaluate the adsorption of heavy metals (iron, zinc, nickel, lead, and cadmium) on dolomite and thermally-modified dolomite. We assessed the potentials of natural and thermally-modified dolomite in terms of the adsorption of heavy metals from aqueous solutions. The samples were analyzed to determine the concentrations of metal ions using Spectra 200 Varian. For the optimization and evaluation of the influential factors in the adsorption amount, factors such as the initial concentration of the solution, pH, contact time, and adsorbent dosage were considered. Comparison of the final removal results indicated that lead and cadmium had the shortest contact time (15 minutes), while the longest contact time belonged to iron and nickel (60 minutes). In addition, the highest and lowest removal efficiency within the optimum time was 99% and 93%for cadmium and iron, respectively, while the minimum dosage of the optimum adsorbent belonged to iron and zinc. The minimum removal efficiency belonged to nickel (3 mg/l), while the maximum removal efficiency was obtained for cadmium, iron, and zinc (10, 5, and 5 mg/l) with the concentrations of 99%. According to the results, modified dolomite has great potential to remove metals and heavy metals.


  1. Humelnicu D, Dinu MV, Drăgan ES. Adsorption character­istics of UO22+ and Th4+ ions from simulated radioactive solu­tions onto chitosan/clinoptilolite sorbents. J Hazard Mater 2011; 185 (1) 447–455.
  2. Heravi Fakhri M. Deletion of heavy metals from industrial effluents by sulfate reducing bacteria. Master's thesis, Civil Engineering (Environment), Tarbiat Modares University;1998 [In Persian]‌
  3. Zafar NM, Nadeem R, Hanif MA. Biosorption of nickel from protonated rice bran. J Hazard Mater 2007; 143(1-2) 478-485
  4. Shirkhanloo H, Sadeghi Z, Shahrokhi S, Kian M, Eftekhar F .The effects of heavy metals on environment and human health. Mir Mah 2013; 20-40 [In Persian]‌
  5. Patterson JW. Industrial wastewater treatment technology, 2nd Ed., Butterworth, Boston;1985
  6. Ganbari A. Comprehensive Science Cultural Sciences; 2008.
  7. Takht Kose A, Taebi R, Afuni M. Optimization of effective parameters in removal of lead from aqueous solutions by dolomite as a cheap absorbent. 4th, National Congress of Civil Engineering, Tehran University; 2008. [In Persian]‌
  8. Klein C, Dutrow B, Manual of Mineral Science Ed23; 1937.
  9. Garcia – Sanchez A, Alvarez – Ayuso E. sorption of Zn, Cd and Cr a calcife: application to purification of industrial waste waters. Miner. Eng. 2006; 40, 2645– 2658.
  10. Papadopoulos P, Rowell DL. The reactions of Copper and Zinc with calcium carbonate surface. J SoilSci 1989; 40, 39-48
  11. Khadem A, Bagheri A. Dolomite and lime. Moazami; 2013. [In Persian]‌
  12. Ghasemi A, Mostaede M, shahlosseinig S, Asaollahzade M. haracterization of Ag (I) , Co (II) and cu (II) remoral process from a queous so lution using dolomite powder. J chem Eng 2013; 30 (1), 172-180. [In Persian]‌
  13. Otsaka R. Recent studies on the decomposition of the dolomite yroup by thermal analysis, Thermocim Acta 1986; 100,183-189
  14. Walker GM, Hansen L, Hanna JA, Allen SJ. Kinetics of a reactive dye adsorption onto dolomitic sorbents. J Water Res 2003;37, 2081–2089
  15. Jamalinejad M, Taebi A, Mortazavi M. Removal of Color from Aqueous Solutions Containing Textile Dyes by Dolomite Wastes. Journal of Water and Wastewater 2012:4; 30-36 [In Persian]‌
  16. Shamohammadi Heidari, Z. Lead Removal from Aqueous Solutions Using Low-cost Adsorbents. Journal of Water and Wastewater 2012; 3:45-50 [In Persian]‌
  17. Pehlivan E, Ozkan AM, Dinç S, Parlayici S. Adsorption of Cu2+ and Pb2+ ion on dolomite powder. Hazard mater 2009, 167(1-3):1044-1049
  18. Reynolds TD, Richards PA. Unit operations & processes in environmental engineering, John Wiley & Sons Inc., New York;1995
  19. Hameed B, D. Mahmoud A. Ahmad, Equilibrium modeling and kinetic studies on the adsorption of basic dye by a low-cost adsorbent: Coconut (Cocos nucifera) bunch waste. J Hazard Mater 158 (2008) 65–72.
  20. Sheng PX, Ting YP, Chen JP, Hong L. Sorption of lead,copper, cadmium, zinc and nickel by marinealgal biomass: characterizationof biosorptive capacity and investigation of mechanisms. J Coll Interf  Sci   2004; 275: 131-141.
  21. Ajmal M, Rao RA, Anwar S, Ahmad J, Ahmad R. Adsorption studies on rice husk: removal and recovery of Cd (II) from wastewater. Bioresoure. Technol 2003; 86(2), 147- 149.
  22. G.M.Walker, G. Connor, S.J. Allen. Copper (II) removal onto dolomitic sorbents,Chem. Eng. Res. Des. 82 (2004) 961–966.