Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Bioresour Technol. 2003 Dec;90(3):255-63.

Cocoa shells for heavy metal removal from acidic solutions.

Author information

  • 1Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS-ETE), UniversitĂ© du QuĂ©bec, 2800 rue Einstein, bureau 105, C.P. 7500, QC, G1V 4C7, Sainte-Foy, Canada.


The development of economic and efficient processes for the removal of heavy metals present in acidic effluents from industrial sources or decontamination technologies has become a priority. The purpose of this work was to study the efficiency with which cocoa shells remove heavy metals from acidic solutions (pH 2) and to investigate how the composition of these solutions influences heavy metal uptake efficiency. Adsorption tests were conducted in agitated flasks with single-metal solutions (0.25 mM Al, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn), multi-metal solution (comprised of 0.25 mM of each of the cations above) and an effluent obtained from chemical leaching of metal-contaminated soil, in the presence of different cocoa shell concentrations (5-40 g/l). Results from the single-metal solution assays indicated that the fixation capacity of heavy metals by cocoa shells followed a specific order: Pb>Cr>Cd=Cu=Fe>Zn=Co>Mn=Ni=Al. Cocoa shells are particularly efficient in the removal of lead from very acidic solutions (q(max)=6.2 mg Pb/g, pH(i)=2.0 and T=22 degrees C). The presence of other metals and cations in solution did not seem to affect the recovery of lead. It was also observed that the maximum metal uptake was reached in less than 2 h. This research has also demonstrated that the removal of metals caused a decline in solution proton concentration (pH increase) and release of calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium from the cocoa shells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center