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Bioresour Technol. 2008 Jul;99(10):3935-48. Epub 2007 Jul 27.

Removal of heavy metal ions from wastewater by chemically modified plant wastes as adsorbents: a review.

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School of Chemical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia.


The application of low-cost adsorbents obtained from plant wastes as a replacement for costly conventional methods of removing heavy metal ions from wastewater has been reviewed. It is well known that cellulosic waste materials can be obtained and employed as cheap adsorbents and their performance to remove heavy metal ions can be affected upon chemical treatment. In general, chemically modified plant wastes exhibit higher adsorption capacities than unmodified forms. Numerous chemicals have been used for modifications which include mineral and organic acids, bases, oxidizing agent, organic compounds, etc. In this review, an extensive list of plant wastes as adsorbents including rice husks, spent grain, sawdust, sugarcane bagasse, fruit wastes, weeds and others has been compiled. Some of the treated adsorbents show good adsorption capacities for Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn and Ni.

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