This study presents the first known exploration of Congo red dye (CR) adsorption by a polycationic Fe/Al Di-metal nanostructured composite (PDFe/Al) synthesised using Fe(III) and Al(III) recovered from authentic acid mine drainage (AMD). The PDFe/Al successfully removed CR from the aqueous solution. The mineralogical, microstructural, and chemical properties of the synthesised PDFe/Al adsorbent (before and after adsorption) were studied using state-of-theart analytical instruments. The optimum conditions were observed to be 100 mg L1 CR, 1 g of the PDFe/Al in 500 mL adsorbate solution, 20 min of shaking, pH = 3–8, and a temperature of 35 C. At optimised conditions, the PDFe/Al showed 99% removal efficacy for CR dye and an exceptionally high Langmuir adsorption capacity of 411 mg g1. Furthermore, a diffusion-limited adsorption mechanism was observed, with two distinct surfaces involved in the adsorption of CR from an aqueous solution. It was determined that the adsorption of CR induced internal strain and deformation within the matrices and interlayers of the PDFe/Al which resulted in a marked increase in the adsorbent pore surface area and pore volume. The remarkably high adsorption capacity could be attributed to the high surface area. A regeneration study showed that the adsorbent could be reused more than four times for the adsorption of CR. The findings from this study demonstrated the feasibility of recovering valuable minerals from toxic and hazardous AMD and demonstrated their potential for the treatment of industrial wastewaters.
DATA AVAILABILITY STATEMENT : The data presented in this study are openly available in the University of Pretoria Research Data Repository at doi:10.25403/UPresearchdata.19228875.