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Copper, lead and zinc removal from metal-contaminated wastewater by adsorption onto agricultural wastes

Janyasuthiwong, Suthee, Phiri, Sheila M., Kijjanapanich, Pimluck, Rene, Eldon R., Esposito, Giovanni, Lens, Piet N.L.
Environmental technology 2015 v.36 no.24 pp. 3071-3083
adsorbents, adsorption, agricultural wastes, bananas, coconuts, copper, cost effectiveness, environmental technology, heavy metals, hydrochloric acid, lead, pH, peanuts, response surface methodology, rice hulls, sawdust, trees, wastewater, zinc
The use of agricultural wastes (groundnut shell, orange and banana peel, rice husk, coconut husk and Wawa tree saw dust) as potential cost-effective adsorbent for heavy metal removal from wastewater was evaluated. The effect of pH (2.0–6.0), adsorbent dosage (0.6–2.2 g), contact time (10–130 min) and initial concentration (Pb: 5–105 mg/L, Cu and Zn: 2.5–52.7 mg/L) on the metal removal efficiency and uptake capacity were investigated using response surface methodology to optimize the process conditions. Groundnut shell showed a high potential to remove Cu, Pb and Zn from synthetic wastewater. The highest removal efficiencies with groundnut as the adsorbent were 85% at pH 5.0 for Cu and 98% at pH 3.0 for Pb and Zn. The optimum conditions obtained were 2.5 g adsorbent with 40.7 mg/L Cu at pH 4.4 and 64 min contact time, 2.5 g adsorbent with 196.1 mg/L Pb at pH 5.6 and 60 min contact time and 3.1 g adsorbent with 70.2 mg/L Zn at pH 4.3 and 50 min contact time, for Cu, Pb and Zn, respectively. The regeneration of the groundnut shell was possible for a maximum of three cycles using 0.2 M HCl as the desorbing solution without any significant change in the adsorbing efficiency.