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Bioinorganic Chemistry and Applications
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7298351, 13 pages
Research Article

Cadmium Removal from Contaminated Water Using Polyelectrolyte-Coated Industrial Waste Fly Ash

1Geosciences Department, College of Petroleum & Geosciences, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
2Mechanical Engineering Department, KFUPM, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
3Chemistry Department, KFUPM, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence should be addressed to Bassam S. Tawabini and Tahar Laoui

Received 13 February 2017; Revised 10 April 2017; Accepted 4 May 2017; Published 7 June 2017

Academic Editor: Viktor Kochkodan

Copyright © 2017 Fatai A. Olabemiwo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Fly ash (FA) is a major industrial waste generated from power stations that add extra cost for proper disposal. Recent research efforts have consequently focused on developing ways to make use of FA in environmentally sound applications. This study, therefore, investigates the potential ability of raw fly ash (RFA) and polyelectrolyte-coated fly ash (PEFA) to remove cadmium (Cd) from polluted water. Using layer-by-layer approach, functionalized fly ash was coated with 20 layers from 0.03% (v/v) of cationic poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) (PDADMAC) and anionic polystyrene sulfonate (PSS) solutions. Both surface morphology and chemical composition of the adsorbent (PEFA) were characterized using Field-Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FE-SEM), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR), and X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) techniques. The effects of pH, adsorbent dosage, contact time, initial contaminant concentration, and mixing rate of the adsorption of Cd were also studied in batch mode experiments. Results of the study revealed that a 4.0 g/L dosage of PEFA removed around 99% of 2.0 mg/L of Cd in 15 min at 150 rpm compared to only 27% Cd removal achieved by RFA under the same conditions. Results also showed that adsorption by PEFA followed both Langmuir and Freundlich models with correlation coefficients of 98% and 99%, respectively.