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J Hazard Mater. 2008 Mar 21;152(1):407-14. Epub 2007 Jul 17.

Biosorption of lead from aqueous solutions by green algae Spirogyra species: kinetics and equilibrium studies.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee 247667, India.


Biosorption is the effective method for the removal of heavy metal ions from wastewaters. Results are presented showing the sorption of Pb(II) from solutions by biomass of commonly available, filamentous green algae Spirogyra sp. Batch experiments were conducted to determine the biosorption properties of the biomass and it was observed that the maximum adsorption capacity of Pb(II) ion was around 140mgmetal/g of biomass at pH 5.0 in 100min with 200mg/L of initial concentration. Temperature change in the range 20-40 degrees C affected the adsorption capacity and the nature of the reaction was found to be endothermic in nature. Uptake kinetics follows the pseudo-second-order model and equilibrium is well described by Langmuir isotherm. Isotherms have been used to determine thermodynamic parameters of the process, viz., free energy change, enthalpy change and entropy change. Various properties of the algae, as adsorbent, explored in the characterization part were chemical composition of the adsorbent, thermal analysis by TGA, surface area calculation by BET method, surface morphology with scanning electron microscope images and surface functionality by FTIR. FTIR analysis of algal biomass revealed the presence of amino, carboxyl, hydroxyl and carbonyl groups, which are responsible for biosorption of metal ions. The results indicated that the biomass of Spirogyra sp. is an efficient biosorbent for the removal of Pb(II) from aqueous solutions.

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