Document Type : Original Article


Department of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Environment, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: Industrial plating wastewater contains various types of detrimental heavy metals in high concentrations. One of this toxic metal is Nickel that its discharge into the surface waters and soil is considered as an environmental problem. Hence removing of this metal from wastewaters is crucial and vital for protecting the environment and human health. Applying of nanotechnology in elimination of environmental contaminants is one of the methods which attracted a great deal of attention in recent years. In present research, nanographite was utilized as efficient adsorbent in order to remove Ni ions.
Material and methods: In order to investigate the adsorption process, nanographite with a purity of 99.9% and a specific surface area of ​​18-24 m2/g and a plate morphology was prepared from Pishgaman Iranian Nanomaterials Company and used as an adsorbent. Also, the wastewater used in the experiments was prepared from one of the plating workshops in Tehran, which contained 765 mg/L of nickel and a pH of about 1. The parameters of pH, time and amount of adsorbent were evaluated. In each experiment, one of the parameters was considered variable and the other two parameters were considered constant. The amount of nickel was determined before and after each test.Results and discussion: In this study, the parameters including pH, adsorption time and adsorbent dosage were investigated as effective factors on Ni adsorption process. In order to analyze the adsorption mechanism, the obtained results were examined by the Langmuir and Fruendlich isotherm models. In addition, pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second-order models were studied to investigate adsorption kinetics. According to the results, the Ni uptake by nanographite was enhanced significantly with increasing of the pH value from 5 to 7. Thus the pH of 7 was determined as optimum pH for Ni removal. Investigations also showed that increasing the time up to the first 80 minutes had a relatively good effect on nickel adsorption by the nanoparticle, and after that the adsorption almost reached equilibrium. Finally, it was observed that in a constant time, increasing the amount of adsorbent led to an increase in adsorption, and to achieve the maximum adsorption of nickel, the amount of 2g was chosen for the adsorbent. Based on the obtained results, 97.52% primary nickel was adsorbed by nanographite. Results also revealed that the data were best fitted to the Fruendlich models. After determining the amount of nickel adsorption at different times, the resulting data were analyzed by the kinetic model.Kinetic studies also indicated that the adsorption data were described well by pseudo-second-order model. Conclusion: Examining the results showed that pH plays an important role in the adsorption process and the adsorption rate increases with increasing time until the equilibrium time is reached. One of the effective factors is the amount of adsorbent, which has a direct effect on adsorption. Following the Freundlich isotherm in this research indicates that the adsorption sites in the adsorbent have different energies. Also, the pseudo-second-order model in adsorption kinetics refers to the process of chemical adsorption in addition to physical adsorption.


Adolph, M.A., Xavier, Y.M., Kriveshini, P. and Rui, K., 2012. Phosphine functionalised multiwalled carbon nanotubes: A new adsorbent for the removal of nickel from aqueous solution. Journal of Environmental Sciences. 24(6), 1133-1141.
Ahaliabadeh, Z. and Irannajad, M., 2017. Removal of Ni and Cd ions from aqueous solution using iron dust-zeolite composite: Analysis by thermodynamic, kinetic and isotherm studies. Chemical Research in Chinese Universities. 33, 318-326.
Angelis, G.D., Medeghini, L., Conte, A.M. and Mignardi, S., 2017. Recycling of eggshell waste into low-cost adsorbent for Ni removal from wastewater. Journal of Cleaner Production. 164, 1497-1506.
Baird, R.B., Eaton, A.D. and Rice, E.W., 2017. Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater, 23rd Edition. American public health association, American water works association, Water environment federation, Washington, D.C., USA.
Can, M.Y., Kaya, Y. and Algur, O.F., 2006. Response surface optimization of the removal of nickel from aqueous solution by cone biomass of Pinus sylvestris. Bioresource Technology. 97(14), 1761-1765.
Dehghani, M.H., Sarmadi, M., Alipour, M.R., Sanaei, D., Abdolmaleki, H., Agarwal, S. and Gupta, V.K., 2019. Investigating the equilibrium and adsorption kinetics for the removal of Ni(II) ions from aqueous solutions using adsorbents prepared from the modified waste newspapers: A low-cost and available adsorbent. Microchemical Journal. 146, 1043–1053.
Demirbas, E., Kobya, M., Oncel, S. and Sencan, S., 2002. Removal of Ni (II) from aqueous solution by adsorption onto hazelnut shell activated carbon: equilibrium studies. Bioresource Technology. 84(3), 291-293.   
Es sahbany, H., Berradi, M.,  Nkhili, S.,  Hsissou, R., Allaoui, M., Loutfi, M., Bassir, D., Belfaquir, M. and El Youbi, M.S., 2019. Removal of heavy metals (nickel) contained in wastewater-models by the adsorption technique on natural clay. Materials Today: Proceedings. 13(3), 866–875.
Fakhraei, F., 2009. Quantitative and qualitative investigation of the effluents of electroplating workshops in Abbas Abad industrial towns and the eastern region of Tehran and providing appropriate solutions to remove chromium pollutants. MS.c. Thesis. University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.
Gao, Y., Yue, Q., Gao, B., Sun, Y., Wang, W., Li, Q. and Wang, Y., 2013. Preparation of high surface area-activated carbon from lignin of papermaking black liquor by KOH activation for Ni (II) adsorption. Chemical Engineering Journal. 217, 345-353.
Gautam, R.K., Gautam, P.K., Banerjee, S., Soni, S., Singh, S.K. and Chattopadhyaya, M.C., 2015. Removal of Ni (II) by magnetic nanoparticles. Journal of Molecular Liquids. 204, 60-69.
Hasar, H., 2003. Adsorption of nickel (II) from aqueous solution onto activated carbon prepared from almond husk. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 97(1-3), 49-57.
He, J., Cai, X., Chen, K., Li, Y., Zhang, K., Jin, Z., Meng, F., Liu, N., Wang, X., Kong, L., Huang, X. and Liu, J.,  2016. Performance of a novelly-defined zirconium metal-organic frameworks adsorption membrane in fluoride removal. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. 484, 162-172.
Kamble, G.S., Joshi, S.S., Kokare, A.N., Zanje, S.B., Kolekar, S.S., Ghule, A.V., Gaikwad, S.H. and Anuse, M.A., 2017. A sensing behavior synergistic liquid–liquid extraction and spectrophotometric determination of nickel(II) by using 1-(2ˊ,4ˊ-dinitro aminophenyl)-4,4,6-trimethyl-1,4-dihydropyrimidine-2-thiol: Analysis of foundry and electroless nickel plating wastewater. Separation Science and Technology. 52(14), 2238-2251.
Kwon, T.N. and Jeon, C., 2013. Adsorption characteristics of sericite for nickel ions from industrial waste water. Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry. 19(1), 68-72.
Lee, C.G., Lee, S., Park, J.A., Park, C., Lee, S.J., Kim, S.B., An, B., Yun, S.T., Lee, S.H. and Choi, J.W., 2017. Removal of copper, nickel and chromium mixtures from metal plating wastewater by adsorption with modified carbon foam. Chemosphere. 166, 203-211.
Li, W., Lin, X., Yu, M., Mubeen, I., Buekens, A. and Li, X., (2016). Experimental study on PCDD/Fs adsorption onto nano-graphite. Aerosol and Air Quality Research. 16, 3281-3289.
Maddodi, S.A., Alalwan, H.A., Alminshid. A.H. and Abbas. M.N., 2020. Isotherm and computational fluid dynamics analysis of nickel ion adsorption from aqueous solution using activated carbon. South African Journal of Chemical Engineering. 32, 5–12.                                                                                   
Ojedokun, A.T. and Bello, O.S., 2016. Sequestering heavy metals from wastewater using cow dung. Water Resources and Industry. 13, 7-13.
Periasamy, K. and Namasivayam, C., 1995. Removal of nickel (II) from aqueous solution and nickel plating industry wastewater using an agricultural waste: peanut hulls. Waste Management. 15(1), 63-68.
Potgieter, J.H., Potgieter-Vermaak, S.S. and Kalibantonga, P.D., 2006. Heavy metals removal from solution by palygorskite clay. Minerals Engineering. 19(5), 463-470.
Qin, L., Ge, Y., Deng, B. and Li, Z., 2017. Poly (ethylene imine) anchored lignin composite for heavy metals capturing in water. Journal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers. 71, 84-90.
Shahriari, T., 2013. Application of electrocoagulation method along with Fe3Omagnetic nanoparticle in tanning wastewater treatment. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.
Uppal, H., Hemlata, Tawale, J. and Singh, N., 2016. Zinc peroxide functionalized synthetic graphite: An economical and efficient adsorbent for adsorption of arsenic (III) and (V). Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering. 4(3), 2964-2975.
Zamani, S., Salahi, E. and Mobasherpour, I., 2013. Removal of nickel from aqueous solution by nano hydroxyapatite originated from Persian Gulf corals. Canadian Chemical Transactions. 1(3), 173-190.