Heavy metal uptake by agro based waste materials
Anwar R. Saleemi
Muhammad Mahmood Ahmad
Financial support: Merit scholarship for PhD to Suleman Qaiser by Higher Education Commission Pakistan.
Keywords: biosorption, ficus religiosa leaves, hexavalent chromium, kinetics, lead, wastewater.
Presence of heavy metals in the aquatic systems has become a serious problem. As a result, there has been a great deal of attention given to new technologies for removal of heavy metal ions from contaminated waters. Biosorption is one such emerging technology which utilized naturally occurring waste materials to sequester heavy metals from industrial wastewater. The aim of the present study was to utilize the locally available agricultural waste materials for heavy metal removal from industrial wastewater. The wastewater containing lead and hexavalent chromium was treated with biomass prepared from ficus religiosa leaves. It was fund that a time of one hr was sufficient for sorption to attain equilibrium. The equilibrium sorption capacity after one hr was 16.95 ± 0.75 mg g-1 and 5.66 ± 0.43 mg g-1 for lead and chromium respectively. The optimum pH was 4 for lead and 1 for chromium. Temperature has strong influence on biosorption process. The removal of lead decreased with increase in temperature. On the other hand chromium removal increased with increase in temperature up to