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Bioresour Technol. 2008 Apr;99(6):1896-903. Epub 2007 May 30.

Pectin-rich fruit wastes as biosorbents for heavy metal removal: equilibrium and kinetics.

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  • 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA.


Biosorption can be used as a cost effective and efficient technique for the removal of toxic heavy metals from wastewater. Waste materials from industries such as food processing and agriculture may act as biosorbents. This study investigates the removal of cadmium by fruit wastes (derived from several citrus fruits, apples and grapes). Citrus peels were identified as the most promising biosorbent due to high metal uptake in conjunction with physical stability. Uptake was rapid with equilibrium reached after 30-80 min depending on the particle size (0.18-0.9 mm). Sorption kinetics followed a second-order model. Sorption equilibrium isotherms could be described by the Langmuir model in some cases, whereas in others an S-shaped isotherm was observed, that did not follow the Langmuir isotherm model. The metal uptake increased with pH, with uptake capacities ranging between 0.5 and 0.9 meq/g of dry peel. Due to their low cost, good uptake capacity, and rapid kinetics, citrus peels are a promising biosorbent material warranting further study.

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