Jordan Journal of Civil Engineering

Paper Detail

The Use of Expendable Local Zeolite Deposits for NH4 Removal in Municipal Wastewater

Volume 3, No. 3, 2009
Received: 2009/09/02, Accepted:


Reyad Ali Al Dwairi;


Zeolitic tuff from Al-Tafila area (southern Jordan) has been investigated and tested for its uptake of ammonium (NH4+) from treated domestic wastewater using pilot plant scale column system. The zeolitic volcanic tuff from Jabal Al-Ataita is mainly represented by vitric and vitric crystal tuff. In this zeolitic tuff deposits, a percentage of about (46-65%) of volcanic glass in the pyroclastic sequence has been replaced by zeolites. The main zeolite species identified in volcanic tuffs from Al-Ataita volcano is phillipsite. The removal experiments were carried out depending on size fraction and bed depth of the zeolitic tuff. The used wastewater was collected from the treated wastewater effluent from Al-Tafila wastewater treatment plant. Breakthrough curves were constructed to differentiate between the ammonium removal efficiency using different size cuts of zeolitic tuff. The ammonium ions were completely removed from (32 ppm NH4+) solution onto 40 g of zeolitic material in the first time of filtration. Natural zeolitic tuff of 0.55-0.710 mm size fraction showed the highest breakthrough point and exhaustion point. The results of the study suggests that the zeolitic tuff of Jabal Al-Ataita with a size fraction of (0.55-0.710 mm) can be used as a final stage (following the biological process) in wastewater treatment plants in order to assure compliance with environmental standards.


Zeolitic tuff, Phillipsite, Jabal Al-Ataita, Jordan, Wastewater, Ammonium, Ionic exchange.