Fresh water streams contaminated with synthetic dye-containing effluents pose a threat to aquatic and human life either by preventing aquatic photosynthesis or by entering into the food chain. Adsorptive removal of such dyes with potent biosorbents is an important technique to reduce bioaccumulation and biomagnifications of the dyes in human life. We report use of betel nut (BN) husk and banana peel (BP), two most abundant ligno-cellulosic wastes, as efficient adsorbents for the removal of the basic dye methylene blue (MB). The adsorption by BN and BP was consistently high over wide ranges of pH and temperature, suggesting their dye removal potential in diverse conditions. Physico-chemical studies, e.g. scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy studies, revealed changes in surface topology and functional moieties of BN and BP post adsorption, implying dye interaction with the biomass surface. The dye adsorption in both cases followed pseudo-second-order kinetics. While adsorption of MB by BN was better fitted with the Temkin isotherm model, adsorption with BP followed both Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models. Our studies concluded that both adsorbents efficiently remove MB from its aqueous solution with BP proved to be marginally superior to BN.

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