Abstract

The capacity of Cladosporium cladosporioides biomass for removal of Cr(VI) in aqueous solutions was evaluated. A 2 × 2 factorial experiment design was used to study the effects of pH and biomass doses. Lower pH values and larger biomass doses increased the capacity of C. cladosporioides biomass for removal of Cr(VI), reaching a reduction capacity of 492.85 mg g−1, a significantly higher value compared to other biomass reported. Cr(VI) removal kinetic rates followed a pseudo-second order model, like other fungal biomass reported previously. The apparent adsorption process was described well by the Freundlich isothermal model. However, determination of total chromium indicated that adsorption of Cr(VI) was followed by a redox reaction that released proportional quantities of Cr(III) into the experimental supernatant, suggesting a parallel adsorption-reduction process. Comparison of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy spectra of C. cladosporioides biomass before and after the reduction process demonstrated the involvement of positively charged amino groups in the Cr(VI) adsorption-reduction process.

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