Author(s): Yun YS, Park D, Park JM, Volesky B
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Abstract Biosorption has attracted attention as a cost-effective means for the treatment of metal-bearing wastewater. However, the mechanism of metal binding is not clearly understood, and consequently, modeling of the biosorption performance is still raising debates. In this study, the biosorption of trivalent chromium was investigated with protonated brown alga Ecklonia biomass as a model system. Titration of the biomass revealed that it contains at least three types of functional groups. The Fourier transform infrared spectrometry showed that the carboxyl group was the chromium-binding site within the pH range (pH 1-5) used in this study, where chromium does not precipitate. The pK value and the number of carboxyl groups were estimated to be 4.6 +/- 0.1 and 2.2 +/- 0.1 mmol/g, respectively. The equilibrium sorption isotherms determined at different solution pH indicated that the uptake of chromium increased significantly with increasing pH. A model for the description of chromium biosorption was developed incorporating the hydrolysis reactions that chromium undergoes in the aquatic phase. The model was able to predict the equilibrium sorption experimental data at different pH values and chromium concentrations. In addition, the speciation of the binding site as a function of the solution pH was predicted using the model in order to visualize the distribution of chromium ionic species on the binding site.
This article was published in Environ Sci Technol
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development