Low-temperature plasma-modified zeolite (LTPMZ) vs. natural Bulgarian zeolite (NBZ) – Comparative physicochemical, UV/VIS and FTIR studies
Keywords:natural zeolite, low-temperature arc plasma, FTIR, UV/VIS, Rhodamine 6G
The aim of the present study was to investigate and compare the physicochemical, morphological properties and sorption potential of natural Bulgarian zeolite (NBZ) and low-temperature plasma modified zeolite (LTPMZ). NBZ was treated by low-temperature arc plasma. The evolution of the modifications was followed using FTIR, UV-VIS, physicochemical and sorption studies. The digital microscope analyses proved that crystallinity, sheet structure and textural properties of the natural material were not significantly affected by the plasma treatment. The comparative analyses of the FTIR spectra obtained showed that the plasma treatment caused the breakdown of structural bounds at the clay surface and induced the formation of new hydroxyl groups (Si–OH and Al–OH) on the clay edges. According to the UV/VIS and FTIR studies of Rhodamine 6G (Rh6G) sorption, LTPMZ displayed higher affinity to the cationic dye. This study demonstrates that low-temperature plasma treatments could be used to activate zeolite for environmental application.
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