Abstract

The effectiveness of açaí endocarp as biosorbent for removal of Cd2+, Pb2+ and Cr3+ from single solute solutions was analyzed. The biomass of açaí endocarp was characterized by scanning electron microscopy, infrared spectroscopy and determining the point of zero charge. The optimum conditions for adsorption process were obtained at solution pH 6.0 for Cd(II) removal, pH 5.0 for Pb(II) removal, and, pH 4.0 for Cr(III). Furthermore, the average optimum efficiency of biosorbent in the optimum conditions was 8, 20 and 12 g of biosorbent per litre of contaminant solution, respectively, for Cd(II), Pb(II) and Cr(III). The best dynamic equilibrium time was reached at 60 min and Langmuir's model had the best fit for Cd(II) and Cr(III) biosorption, indicating a monolayer adsorption. Freundlich's model exhibited the best fit for Pb(II) ion. Elution rates were low, indicating a strong metal interaction with the adsorbent's surface. Thermodynamic parameters showed a spontaneous and endothermal process in the case of Cd(II) and Pb(II) ions, but not for Cr(III) ion, which appears to be an exothermic process. Results show that the use of the açaí biosorbent may be a promising alternative for the remediation of polluted water, due to its low cost and highly availability.

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