Bioresource Technology, Vol.97, No.4, 692-700, 2006
Biosorption of lead(II), cadmium(II), copper(II) and nickel(II) by anaerobic granular biomass
Biosorption is potentially an attractive technology for treatment of wastewater for retaining heavy metals from dilute solutions. This study investigated the feasibility of anaerobic granules as a novel type of biosorbent, for lead, copper, cadmium, and nickel removal from aqueous solutions. Anaerobic sludge supplied from a wastewater treatment plant in the province of Quebec was used. Anaerobic granules are microbial aggregates with a strong, compact and porous structure and excellent settling ability. After treatment of the biomass with Ca ions, the cation exchange capacity of the biomass was approximately 111 meq/100g of biomass dry weight which is comparable to the metal binding capacities of commercial ion exchange resins. This work investigated the equilibrium, batch dynamics for the biosorption process. Binding capacity experiments using viable biomass revealed a higher value than those for nonviable biomass. Binding capacity experiments using non-viable biomass treated with Ca revealed a high value of metals uptake. The solution initial pH value affected metal sorption. Over the pH range of 4.0-5.5, pH-related effects were not significant. Meanwhile, at lower pH values the uptake capacity decreased. Time dependency experiments for the metal ions uptake showed that adsorption equilibrium was reached almost 30 min after metal addition. It was found that the q(max) for Pb2+, Cd2+, Cu2+, and Ni2+ ions, were 255, 60, 55, and 26 mg/g respectively (1.23, 0.53, 0.87, and 0.44 mmol/g respectively). The data pertaining to the sorption dependence upon metal ion concentration could be fitted to a Langmiur isotherm model. Based on the results, the anaerobic granules treated with Ca appear to be a promising biosorbent for removal of heavy metals from wastewater due to its optimal uptake of heavy metals, its particulate shape, compact porous structure, excellent settling ability, and its high mechanical strength. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.