Abstract

After checking the success of the biosorption process to remove heavy metals from wastewater using olive tree pruning as a cheap biosorbent in the laboratory scale, the scale-up is necessary to progress towards industrial applications chance. The aim of this work was the study of the effect of scale-up in the process of biosorption of Pb(II) with olive tree pruning in a packed bed column. Experiments were performed using two different scale-up criteria and results obtained in both scales were compared. Similar parameters were obtained for each pair of equivalent tests, with a slightly advanced of the obtained breakthrough curves in the pilot plant. The experimental results were fitted by the Thomas model and the obtained mean values were KTh = 0.187 mL/min·mg and q0 = 20.59 mg/g for criterion 1 and KTh = 0.217 mL/min·mg and q0 = 20.27 mg/g for criterion 2. Finally, the mathematical model was applied to simulate industrial applications and it was obtained that under optimal operative conditions, a column according to the criterion 1 was able to operate 2.3 h, and a column according to the criterion 2 was able to operate for 3.6 h.

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