Batch experiments were conducted to study the adsorption of hazardous cadmium onto low-cost algae biomass in aqueous solution with respect to concentration of adsorbate, adsorbent dosage, contact time, solution pH and temperature. Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption models were applied to describe the equilibrium isotherms and the isotherm constants were determined. The activation energy of adsorption was also evaluated for the adsorption of cadmium onto Ulva lactuca biomass. Experimental data were tested in terms of biosorption kinetics using pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second-order kinetic models. The results showed that the biosorption processes of Cd(II) followed well pseudo-second-order kinetics. Langmuir and Freundlich models were applied to describe the biosorption isotherm of the metal ions by Ulva lactuca biomass. Langmuir model fitted the equilibrium data better than the Freundlich isotherm. The biosorption capacity of Ulva lactuca biomass for cadmium was found to be 3.02 mg/g at pH 5.60 min equilibrium time and 20 °C. The mean free energy which was calculated was 6.24 kJ/mol for Cd(II) biosorption, which shows that the adsorption is physical. The calculated thermodynamic parameters (ΔG0, ΔH0 and ΔS0) showed that the biosorption of Cd(II) onto Ulva lactuca biomass was feasible, spontaneous and exothermic under examined conditions. The results indicate that algae Ulva lactuca could be employed as a low-cost material for the removal of metal ions from aqueous solution.

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