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Walnut shells as a potential low-cost lignocellulosic sorbent for dyes and metal ions

Halysh, Vita, Sevastyanova, Olena, Riazanova, Anastasia V., Pasalskiy, Bogdan, Budnyak, Tetyana, Lindström, Mikael E., Кartel, Mykola
Cellulose 2018 v.25 no.8 pp. 4729-4742
acetic acid, adsorbents, adsorption, agroindustrial byproducts, cellulose, gentian violet, heavy metals, hydrogen peroxide, industrial wastewater treatment, iron, kinetics, lignocellulose, metal ions, methodology, methylene blue, pH, pollution, raw materials, sorption isotherms, toxic substances, walnut hulls
Currently, it is necessary to develop new methods and materials for solving the problem of environmental pollution by various toxicants. For these purposes, vegetal materials can be used. In this study, efficient low-cost sorbents based on walnut shells, an agro-industrial by-product, were prepared by treatment with acetic acid or a mixture of acetic acid and hydrogen peroxide. It was shown that the treatments significantly affected the composition and structure of walnut shells and their sorption properties with respect to organic dyes (methylene blue, methyl violet, and murexide) and heavy metal ions. Methylene blue dye was used for additional studies on the effect of pH, contact time and kinetics of sorption. The maximum adsorption rate of the dye occurred within the first 30 min of contact, during which the concentration of methylene blue in the solution was reduced by more than half. Full sorption equilibrium was reached within 180–230 min for studied samples. The adsorption kinetics of methylene blue was found to best be described by pseudo-second-order kinetic model. It was shown that dyes adsorption processes were well described by Freundlich model, which takes into consideration the heterogeneity of the surface of the adsorbent. The obtained plant sorbents are characterized by a high sorption capacity for heavy metal ions (18–29 mg/g for Fe³⁺ and 33–44 mg/g for Cu²). Due to their numerous advantages, such as the high sorption capacity, high availability and low cost of raw materials, simplicity of disposal and nontoxicity, the obtained natural sorbents may have a wide practical use in industrial wastewater treatment.