New insight into adsorption characteristics and mechanisms of the biosorbent from waste activated sludge for heavy metals


Yun Zhou , Zhiqiang Zhang , Jiao Zhang , Siqing Xia

DOI:10.1016/j.jes.2016.03.007

Received 2016-02-02,Revised 2016-03-17, Accepted 2016-03-18, Available online 2016-04-03

Volume 28,2016,Pages 248-256

The adsorption characteristics and mechanisms of the biosorbent from waste activated sludge were investigated by adsorbing Pb2 + and Zn2 + in aqueous single-metal solutions. A pH value of the metal solutions at 6.0 was beneficial to the high adsorption quantity of the biosorbent. The optimal mass ratio of the biosorbent to metal ions was found to be 2. A higher adsorption quantity of the biosorbent was achieved by keeping the reaction temperature below 55°C. Response surface methodology was applied to optimize the biosorption processes, and the developed mathematical equations showed high determination coefficients (above 0.99 for both metal ions) and insignificant lack of fit (p = 0.0838 and 0.0782 for Pb2 + and Zn2 +, respectively). Atomic force microscopy analyses suggested that the metal elements were adsorbed onto the biosorbent surface via electrostatic interaction. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses indicated the presence of complexation (between –NH2, −CN and metal ions) and ion-exchange (between –COOH and metal ions). The adsorption mechanisms could be the combined action of electrostatic interaction, complexation and ion-exchange between functional groups and metal ions.

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