Kinetic evaluation of chromium(VI) sorption by water lettuce (Pistia)

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An investigation was performed to evaluate the uptake capacity of Pistia in living condition for adsorptive removal of chromium(VI) from spiked solution for examining a remedial measure for disposal of chrome-laden wastewater in an urban wetland system. Kinetics results show about 78% removal was achieved for 3 mg/L initial concentration of Cr(VI). Experimental data showed that the root portion absorbed more Cr(VI) (28.54 μg/g) compared to accumulation in leaf (5.73 μg/g). It was also noted that the plant could effectively remove Cr(VI) from the solution with minor damage up to an initial Cr(VI) concentration of 3 mg/L, for which the adsorption isotherm studies were conducted. The maximum uptake capacity of the plant was recorded as 0.05 mg/g of Cr(VI) at the equilibrium level after a contact period of 7 days for an initial concentration of 8 mg /L, although severe physiological damage occurred. The experimental results were plotted in Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models and both were found to be well fitted (r2 = 0.979 and r2 = 0.974 respectively). The high value of n (2.16) reveals a strong bond between the plant root and dissolved Cr(VI), which favours the adsorption process. The order of the reaction was also examined on the basis of uptake capacity and it was found that the second order model fitted best.

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