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Open AccessArticle

Recovering Metals from Aqueous Solutions by Biosorption onto Hydrolyzed Olive Cake

Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of Sciences, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
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Water 2019, 11(12), 2519; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11122519
Received: 30 October 2019 / Revised: 25 November 2019 / Accepted: 26 November 2019 / Published: 28 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Removal of Heavy Metals from Wastewater)
Olive cake obtained as a by-product from the olive oil industry has been evaluated as biosorbent of heavy metals from aqueous solutions in batch and continuous systems (fixed-bed columns). First, a complete study of effect of hydrothermal treatment with water on biosorption capacity of resulting solid was performed. Results showed that the values of biosorption capacity increased when the particle size of material decreased and the temperature of treatment increased. Then, hydrolyzed olive cake was treated by common chemicals (hot water, nitric acid, and sodium hydroxide) and the impact of chemical treatment was analyzed. The results were well reproduced by Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models, getting maximum experimental biosorption capacities that changed between 42.34 mg/g obtained for the solid material modified by NaOH and 14.27 mg/g obtained for the solid material modified by nitric acid. Finally, laboratory tests in fixed-bed columns were performed with four different heavy metals and at three different inlet concentrations. The biosorption capacity increased from 2.83 mg/g (Cr), 4.51 mg/g (Cu), 12.30 mg/g (Pb), and 4.10 mg/g (Zn) to 3.08 mg/g (Cr), 5.17 mg/g (Cu), 13.21 mg/g (Pb), and 5.51 mg/g (Zn) when the concentration of metal ions increased, from 50 mg/L to 200 mg/L, respectively. Also, the experimental data obtained was successfully correlated with the Thomas, Yoon–Nelson, and dose–response models.
Keywords: biosorption; heavy metals; hydrothermal treatment; olive cake; wastewater treatment biosorption; heavy metals; hydrothermal treatment; olive cake; wastewater treatment
MDPI and ACS Style

Fernández-González, R.; Martín-Lara, M.Á.; Blázquez, G.; Pérez, A.; Calero, M. Recovering Metals from Aqueous Solutions by Biosorption onto Hydrolyzed Olive Cake. Water 2019, 11, 2519.

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