Removal of Cr(VI) onto Ficus carica biosorbent from water

V K Gupta, Deepak Pathania, Shilpi Agarwal, Shikha Sharma
Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 2013, 20 (4): 2632-44
The utilization of sustainable and biodegradable lignocellulosic fiber to detoxify the noxious Cr(VI) from wastewater is considered a versatile approach to clean up a contaminated aquatic environment. The aim of the present research is to assess the proficiency and mechanism of biosorption on Ficus carica bast fiber via isotherm models (Langmuir, Freundlich, Temkin, Harkin's-Jura, and Dubinin-Radushkevich), kinetic models, and thermodynamic parameters. The biomass extracted from fig plant was characterized by scanning electron microscopy and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. To optimize the maximum removal efficiency, different parameters like effect of initial concentration, effect of temperature, pH, and contact time were studied by batch method. The equilibrium data were best represented by the Langmuir isotherm model, and the maximum adsorption capacity of Cr(VI) onto biosorbent was found to be 19.68 mg/g. The pseudo-second-order kinetic model adequately described the kinetic data. The calculated values of thermodynamic parameters such as enthalpy change (∆H(0)), entropy change (∆S(0)), and free energy change (∆G(0)) were 21.55 kJ/mol, 76.24 J/mol K, and -1.55 kJ/mol, respectively, at 30 °C which accounted for spontaneous and endothermic processes. The study of adsorbent capacity for Cr(VI) removal in the presence of Na(+), Mg(2+), Ca(2+), SO 4 (2-) , HCO 3 (-) and Cl(-) illustrated that the removal of Cr(VI) increased in the presence of HCO(3-) ions; the presence of Na(+), SO 4 (2-) or Cl(-) showed no significant influence on Cr(VI) adsorption, while Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) ions led to an insignificant decrease in Cr(VI) adsorption. Further, the desorption studies illustrated that 31.10% of metal ions can be removed from an aqueous system, out of which 26.63% of metal ions can be recovered by desorption in first cycle and the adsorbent can be reused. The results of the scale-up study show that the ecofriendly detoxification of Cr(VI) from aqueous systems was technologically feasible.

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