The biosorption potential of orange waste (OW) was investigated using synthetic solutions of arsenic and contaminated drinking water under different parameters, e.g. biosorbent dose, initial concentrations of solution, contact time, and pH in a batch system. The optimum conditions were identified as a contact time of 30 minutes, pH 6, biosorbent dose of 1 g L−1, and initial arsenic concentration of 250 ppb. A fluidized bed column was used to study the removal of arsenic in the column. The results showed that biosorption of arsenic gave promising results in batch and continuous system, lowering the arsenic concentration down to WHO standards (10 ppb) for drinking water. The Fourier transform infrared spectra indicated that hydroxyl and carboxyl groups were major active sites for biosorption, while the results of scanning electron microscopy showed obvious changes in surface morphology of OW after the biosorption process. With 90% removal efficiency, results indicated that OW is a cost-effective and eco-friendly biosorbent and comparable to current drinking water treatment technologies. Further research is needed to get the optimum conditions for pilot-scale testing of the biosorption process by OW as well as evaluation of treated water for food quality parameters in order to commercialize the process.

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