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Marine Macrophytes as Effective Lead Biosorbents

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Several species of seagrass and marine macrophytes were investigated for their biosorption performance in the removal of lead from aqueous solution. The effect of pH on the equilibrium of the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa as a biosorbent also was studied. It was found that increasing pH increased lead biosorption, with a maximum uptake of approximately 140 mg/g in the range pH 3.3 to 5. Equilibrium data at different pH levels were successfully fitted to competitive equilibrium models. In addition, the seaweeds belonging to different phyla (i.e., Chlorophyta, Heterokontophyta, and Rhodophyta) were studied for the effect of their structure on equilibrium at a constant pH 5. The brown algae (Heterokontophyta) showed the highest potential for lead sorption, with a maximum uptake of 220 mg/g for C. compressa and 140 mg/g for S. lomentaria. The green algae (Chlorophyta) showed lead uptake in the range 40 to 90 mg/g, and the red algae (Rhodophyta) was least effective, with uptake in the range 10 to 40 mg/g.
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Keywords: Cymodocea nodosa; Langmuir equilibrium modeling; algae; lead biosorption; seagrass

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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