Facile and affordable synthetic route of nano powder zeolite and its application in fast softening of water hardness

Safaa El-Nahas, Ahmed I. Osman*, Abdulrahem S. Arafat, Ala'a H. Al-Muhtaseb, Hassan M. Salman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Herein, we proposed an affordable and facile way of treating the hardening of water from local groundwater and seawater sources. This was facilitated by synthesizing zeolitic materials via an effortless and affordable method from readily available disposed of waste materials. Firstly, by converting waste aluminium (scrap wire cables, takeaway foil, cans, and spray aerosol bottles) along with disposed of silica gel into active zeolitic materials with the aid of a conventional domestic microwave. Small amounts of the produced zeolites (NaX and NaA) were utilized in the removal of the hardness of water (10 g.L−1), showing elimination of Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions within 30 min, removing 90 % of the total hardness (> 1000 ppm). The spent zeolite samples can be further used for more than two consequent cycles, then the regeneration can be promoted by using NaCl solution at ambient conditions. The total price for the synthesis of 1 kg of the zeolite produced herein is 14 $/kg. This is 70 % lower than the price of commercial zeolites available in the market. Our proposed facile route in zeolite preparation could potentially change the traditional costly softening treatment techniques. It also minimizes the use of extra chemical materials, templates and multi-step procedures. The excellent hardness removal capacity in groundwater and seawater using synthesized zeolite samples could open doors for various applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101104
JournalJournal of Water Process Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Aluminium waste
  • Groundwater
  • Hardness elimination
  • Ion exchange
  • Regeneration
  • Seawater
  • Synthetic zeolite
  • Water hardness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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