Abstract

Fluoride contamination in groundwater is now becoming a global concern. In the present study, removal of fluoride using dry biomass (DBM) of a micro-algal consortium of Chlorococcum infusionum and Leptolyngbya foveolaurum, collected from a coke-oven effluent treatment plant, Durgapur, India, has been investigated. The large volume of algal bloom in the industrial effluent has created serious disposal issues and caused severe environmental concerns. A biosorption technique has been carried out to valorize the waste algae biomass into a potential adsorbent. Response Surface Methodology (RSM) is used to model and optimize fluoride removal. Maximum fluoride removal (72%) is obtained at pH 4, 5 mg/L initial fluoride concentration, 0.5 g/L adsorbent dose (AD), and 25 °C temperature during one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT) analysis. The optimum condition of removal as specified by RSM is – initial concentration of fluoride: 30 mg/L, pH: 4.5, AD: 3.5 g/L and temperature: 30 °C. FESEM-EDX, FTIR and BET isotherm studies are done to characterize raw and fluoride treated biomass. Lagergren first order kinetic model and Freundlich isotherm model, are found to analyze best kinetic and equilibrium data, respectively. Adsorption capacity of DBM has been found to be 34.36 mg/g. The kinetics of fluoride removal have been well described by COMSOL Multiphysics.

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