Abstract

The removal of Pb(II) ions from synthetic wastewater using Delonix regia pods and leaves as low-cost biosorbents was investigated. The elemental, morphological and phase characterization of Delonix regia pods and leaves were examined before and after biosorption. The adsorption process at various pH values, contact times, initial concentration of Pb(II) ions and adsorbent doses was studied with the aim of investigating the consequences of these parameters on the process of biosorption. The Langmuir adsorption isotherm provided the best fit for the experimental data of the pods while the Freundlich isotherm gave a better fit for the leaves of Delonix regia. The optimum adsorption capacity of 30.27 mg/g for the pods and 27.60 mg/g for the leaves was achieved when 0.5 g of the adsorbent was mixed with 20 mL of 1,000 mg/L Pb(II) ions solution for 30 min at 21 ± 2 °C and a stirring speed of 18 rpm. The data obtained from the time-dependent experiment of the biosorbents followed the pseudo-second-order kinetic model. This study showed that Delonix regia pods and leaves could be developed further as a low-cost sorbent that could be harnessed for removing Pb from industrial wastewater and thus limit water pollution from point sources.

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