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Topics: Adsorption, Freundlich equation, Metal Pages: 17 (4456 words) Published: April 26, 2015
International Journal of Environment and Bioenergy, 2013, 7(2): 91-107 International Journal of Environment and Bioenergy
ISSN: 2165-8951
Florida, USA
Journal homepage: www.ModernScientificPress.com/Journals/IJEE.aspx Article

Biosorption of Toxic Heavy Metals by Unmodified Marine Red
Alga (Kappaphycus alvarezii): Kinetics and Isotherm Studies
Sohail Rafiq 1, Majid K.M. Ali 2, Mahyar Sakari 1, Jumat Sulaiman 2, Suhaimi M. Yasir 3, * 1

Water Research Unit (WRU), School of Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
2
Mathematics with Economics Programme, School of Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
3
Seaweed Research Unit (UPRL), School of Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: ysuhaimi@ums.edu.my; Tel.: +6088-320000 ext: 5778.
Article history: Received 5 July 2013, Received in revised form 13 August 2013, Accepted 30 August 2013, Published 15 October 2013.

Abstract: Present study has been undertaken to propose an alternative use of unmodified marine red alga (Kappaphycus alvarezii) (UMRA) as biosorbent for the removal of heavy metal ions from aqueous solutions. The biosorption studies were conducted in batch adsorption system as a function of contact time and initial metal ion concentration. The adsorption system attained equilibrium after 150 min of contact time for Pb (II), Cu (II), Zn (II) and Cd (II). The removal efficiency of red alga improved as metal ions concentrations were lowered. The equilibrium sorption data was better explained by Langmuir isotherm model suggesting that the adsorption of metal cations observed monolayer sorption pattern. Pseudo-first-order model, pseudo-second-order model and intraparticle diffusion model were utilised to test the sorption kinetics involved in the process. It was observed that pseudo-first-order kinetic model could better describe the adsorption kinetics. A comparison of maximum sorption capacity of several agro-based waste material showed that red alga can be a suitable alternative to use as biosorbent in the removal of toxic heavy metals from aqueous solutions.

Keywords: biosorption; unmodified; removal; isotherm; kinetics.

Copyright © 2013 by Modern Scientific Press Company, Florida, USA

Int. J. Environ. Bioener. 2013, 7(2): 91-107

92

1. Introduction
The heavy metal pollution has become a major environmental problem in the past few decades after industrial revolution. With the rapid development of industries such as metal plating facilities, mining operations, fertilizer industries, tanneries, batteries, paper industries and pesticides, etc., toxic heavy metals are directly or indirectly are being discharged into the aquatic streams posing the genuine environmental threat. Contrary to organic pollutants, heavy metals are non-biodegradable and tend to accumulate in living bodies and some are carcinogenic in nature. Toxic heavy metals found in industrial and domestic wastewaters including lead, copper, cadmium, zinc, nickel, mercury and chromium. The toxic heavy metals in the aquatic world are extremely deleterious for fauna and flora. Most of the research is diverted to developing cost-effective technologies for the removal of metal ions from aqueous solutions. Common wastewater treatment technologies included membrane separation, electrochemical precipitation, ion exchange, pre-concentration, flotation, membrane filtration, ultrafiltration, coagulation-flocculation and adsorption. Adsorption is the most commonly used technique because of its user friendliness and cost effectiveness. This process is found to be versatile and effective when it comes to the operational cost and appropriate regeneration steps. Several recent published works utilized locally available low cost adsorbents including sago waste (Quek et al., 1998), neem bark (Naiya et al., 2008), orange peels...

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