Nickel ion removal from aqueous solutions through the adsorption process: a review

Mohammadtaghi Vakili
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  • Green Intelligence Environmental School, Yangtze Normal University, Chongqing 408100, China
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  • Mohammadtaghi Vakili is presently working as a scientific researcher in the Green Intelligence Environmental School, Yangtze Normal University, China. He has completed his PhD in Environmental Technology (2016) and MSc in Environmental Engineering (2012) from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Malaysia. His research interests include adsorptive separation and use of biomass for wastewater treatment. He has published several review articles and regular research papers in international journals.
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, Mohd Rafatullah
  • School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang 11800, Malaysia
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  • Mohd Rafatullah is a Senior Lecturer of Environmental Technology in the School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia. He completed his PhD in Environmental Chemistry and MSc in Analytical Chemistry and BSc in Chemistry from Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. His research interests include environmental pollutants and their safe removal, preparation of various nanomaterials for protecting the environment, water/wastewater treatment, adsorption and ion exchange, etc.
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, Jing Yuan
  • Green Intelligence Environmental School, Yangtze Normal University, Chongqing 408100, China
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, Haider M. Zwain
  • College of Water Resources Engineering, Al-Qasim Green University, Al-Qasim Province, Babylon, Iraq
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, Amin Mojiri
  • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Hiroshima University, Higashihiroshima 739-8527, Japan
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, Zahra Gholami
  • Unipetrol Centre of Research and Education, a.s, Areál Chempark 2838, Záluží 1, 436 70, Litvínov, Czech Republic
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, Fatemeh Gholami
  • New Technologies – Research Centre, Engineering of Special Materials, University of West Bohemia, Plzeň 301 00, Czech Republic
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, Wei Wang
  • State Key Laboratory of Plateau Ecology and Agriculture, Qinghai University, Xi’ning, Qinghai Province 810016, China
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, Abdulmoseen S. Giwa
  • Green Intelligence Environmental School, Yangtze Normal University, Chongqing 408100, China
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, Youqing Yu
  • Green Intelligence Environmental School, Yangtze Normal University, Chongqing 408100, China
  • Chongqing Hyperspectral Remote Sensing Engineering Research Center for Ecological Environment Monitoring, Yangtze Normal University, Chongqing 408100, China
  • Chongqing Multiple-Source Technology Engineering Research Center for Ecological Environment Monitoring, Yangtze Normal University, Chongqing 408100, China
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, Giovanni Cagnetta
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  • State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, Beijing Key Laboratory for Emerging Organic Contaminants Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
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  • Giovanni Cagnetta received his MSc in Chemical Engineering from Bologna University (2004) and his PhD in Environmental Engineering from the Technical University of Bari (2013). Currently, he is Assistant Professor at Tsinghua University (School of Environment). His research interests include application of mechanochemistry to environmental problems: mechanochemical destruction of organic pollutants and waste, and mechanosynthesis of catalysts/reactive materials for water pollutant degradation.
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and Gang Yu
  • State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, Beijing Key Laboratory for Emerging Organic Contaminants Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
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  • Gang Yu is a Professor at the School of Environment, Director of Research Center on Persistent Organic Pollutant, and Director of the Beijing Key Laboratory for Emerging Organic Contaminants Control at Tsinghua University, China. His research interests include physicochemical treatment technologies of water/wastewater, environmental behavior, and degradation mechanisms of organic pollutants and environmental functional materials.
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Recently, removal of nickel ions has been gaining a lot of attention because of the negative impact of nickel ions on the environment. The aim of this review paper is to organize the scattered available information on removal of nickel ions from aqueous solutions through the adsorption process. Survey on investigated materials suggests that composite- and polymer-based adsorbents have the most effective capability for nickel adsorption. The composite material class, i.e. CaCO3-maltose, followed by biopolymer-based material showed the highest Ni(II) adsorption capacity of 769.23 and 500 mg/g, respectively. The importance of treatment parameters (i.e. pH, temperature, contact time, and metal ion concentration) is discussed, together with their effect on the underlying physicochemical phenomena, giving particular attention to the adsorption/desorption mechanism. It was ascertained that adsorption of nickel ions is pH dependent and the optimal pH range for adsorption of Ni(II) ions was in range of 6–8. In general, nickel adsorption is an endothermic and spontaneous process that mainly occurs by forming a monolayer on the adsorbent (experimental data are often fitted by Langmuir isotherms and pseudo-second-order kinetics). Regeneration (i.e. desorption) is also reviewed, suggesting that acidic eluents (e.g. HCl and HNO3) allow, in most of the cases, an efficacious spent adsorbent recovery. The percentage use of desorption agents followed the order of acids (77%) > chelators (8.5%) > alkalis (8%) > salts (4.5%) > water (2%). Helpful information about adsorption and desorption of nickel ions from aqueous solutions is provided.

    • Supplementary Material
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