Author(s): RomeroGonzalez ME, Williams CJ, Gardiner PH
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Abstract The ability of dealginated seaweed waste, a waste material derived from the commercial processing of seaweed for alginate production, to remove cadmium from solution was determined. Cadmium sorption was found to be rapid (91\% removal within 5 min), achieving a residual concentration of 0.8 mg L-1 after 1-h contact time from an initial solution concentration of 10 mg L-1. The binding of cadmium by dealginate was found to be pH dependent, optimal sorption occurring at around pH 6-8. The mechanism of cadmium ion binding by dealginate was investigated by a number of techniques. Potentiometric titration of the dealginate revealed two distinct pKa values, the first having a value similar to carboxyl groups and the second comparable with that of saturated thiols and amines. Esterification of the dealginate resulted in the subsequent reduction in cadmium sorption (95\% to 17\%), indicating that carboxyl groups are largely responsible for sorption. Evidence from FT-IR spectra confirmed the presence of carboxyl groups in untreated dealginate, while the number of carboxyl groups was markedly reduced in the esterified sample. Furthermore, the FT-IR spectrum for dealginate was found to be similar to that previously reported for mannuronic acid-rich calcium alginate. Determination of a molar ratio in the displacement of calcium by cadmium on dealginate further supported the presence of an ion-exchange relationship. The ion-exchange constant was calculated to be 0.329 x 10(-6). The speciation of cadmium in solution both before and after sorption was determined by an ion-selective electrode (ISE) technique. The findings of this study suggest that the sorption of cadmium by dealginate is mainly due to an ion-exchange mechanism.
This article was published in Environ Sci Technol
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development