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Renata Świderska-Dąbrowska*, Rafał Schmidt**, Tomasz Dąbrowski*
*Koszalin University of Technology, Poland; **Municipal Company in Darłowo, Poland
corresponding author’s e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abstract
Zeolites have been used in environmental engineering mainly in catalytic processes and as ion exchangers in water and wastewater treatment. Selective modified zeolites allow significant improvement in the effectiveness of impurities’ removal without introducing additional reagents to the environment. The final effect of treatment of water solutions is determined by the catalyst used, its physicochemical properties and the process parameters.

In this work effectiveness of zeolite modification methods as well as their physical and chemical stability, taking into account the changes that take place during the process of calcination within the temperature range of 250°C to 650°C is presented. A natural clinoptilolite used in the experiment was transformed into the hydrogenous form and subsequently modified with copper (II) ions by coprecipitation with NaOH and Na2CO3. The effect of the method of the zeolite modification on Cu content, the zeolite Leaching capacity and surface charge was evaluated. An analysis of experimental results has shown that calcination temperature does not significantly change the surface charge, but does affect copper speciation. Analysis of EDS spectra by a scanning microscope, which showed that new and regular forms of copper compounds had been formed along the zeolite lattice structure is also presented.

The experimental results show that retention of Cu in zeolites was caused by electrostatic interactions between Cu(II) cations and the electronegative surface of the zeolite and coprecipitation of Cu(II) complexes.

Physicochemical properties of examined zeolites were affected by processes of hydration, hydrolysis and complexing of Cu with the zeolite matrix as a function of the solution’s pH. Results show that the process of impurities’ removal from water and wastewater depends on the method of zeolite modification and on the solution’s pH.

Keywords 
zeolite, precipitation, surface modification, calcination, zeta potential, leaching

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