Fluoride contamination in groundwater is now becoming a global concern. In the present study, removal of fluoride using dry biomass (DBM) of a microalgal 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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