Biosorbents for remediating aquatic environmental media polluted with hazardous heavy metals and metalloids such as Pb(II), Cr(VI), Sb(III and V), and As(III and V) were prepared from lignin waste, orange and apple juice residues, seaweed and persimmon and grape wastes using simple and cheap methods. A lignophenol gel such as lignocatechol gel was prepared by immobilizing the catechol functional groups onto lignin from sawdust, while lignosulfonate gel was prepared directly from waste liquor generated during pulp production. These gels effectively removed Pb(II). Orange and apple juice residues, which are rich in pectic acid, were easily converted using alkali (e.g., calcium hydroxide) into biosorbents that effectively removed Pb(II). These materials also effectively removed Sb(III and V) and As(III and V) when these were preloaded with multi-valent metal ions such as Zr(IV) and Fe(III). Similar biosorbents were prepared from seaweed waste, which is rich in alginic acid. Other biosorbents, which effectively removed Cr(VI), were prepared by simply treating persimmon and grape wastes with concentrated sulfuric acid.
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