Competitive adsorption of zinc and copper on activated carbon is studied in this article. Main aim was to suggest an advanced model for competitive adsorption of both metals considering pH influence and precipitation. A surface-complexation approach was employed for the modeling. Two models were considered: simple adsorption and ion exchange. System “The Geochemists Workbench” was used for calculation of both static and dynamic adsorption tasks. From the batch experiments, concentration of four types of sorbing sites on the carbon surface and its protonation and sorption constants were deduced. Then, batch competitive adsorption experiments were compared with the models’ results. Finally, a column experiment (fixed bed adsorption) was carried out. It was observed that the model of ion exchange can satisfyingly predict both chromatographic effect and increase of zinc concentration in effluent over its initial value, although a quantitative agreement between the model and the experiment was not totally precise.
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