Agricultural wastes have great potential for the removal of heavy metal ions from aqueous solution. The contamination of water by toxic heavy metals is a worldwide environmental problem. Unlike organic pollutants, the majority of which are susceptible to biological degradation, heavy metals do not degrade into harmless end products. Discharges containing cadmium, in particular, are strictly controlled because of the highly toxic nature of this element and its tendency to accumulate in the tissues of living organisms. This work aims to develop inexpensive, highly available, effective metal ion adsorbents from natural wastes as alternatives to existing commercial adsorbents. In particular, Tamrix articulata
wastes were modified chemically by esterification with maleic acid to yield a carboxyl-rich adsorbent. The adsorption behavior of treated Tamrix articulata
wastes toward cadmium ions in aqueous solutions in a batch system has been studied as a function of equilibration time, adsorbent dose, temperature and pH. Results showed that the maximum adsorption capacity was 195.5 mg/g in a pH 4 solution at 30 °C with a contact time of 120 min, an initial concentration of 400 mg/L and an adsorbent dose of 0.3 g/L. The kinetic data were analyzed using pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second-order kinetic models. It was shown that the adsorption of cadmium could be described by a pseudo-second-order equation. The experimental data were also analyzed using the Langmuir and Freundlich models of adsorption. Thermodynamic parameters such as ΔGo
have been evaluated and it has been found that the sorption process was spontaneous and exothermic in nature. From all of our data, we conclude that the treated Tamrix articulata
wastes investigated in this study showed good potential for cadmium removal from aqueous solutions.