The search for efficient and environmentally friendly adsorbents has positioned lignocellulosic materials as attractive and low-cost alternatives instead of synthetic materials. Consequently, the present work investigates the efficacy of untreated lime peel (LM) and pineapple core (PP) as biosorbents for Cr(VI) removal. The maximum adsorption capacities (acquired at 24 h) of these sorbents were 9.20 and 4.99 mg/g, respectively. The use of these sorbents is expected to offer a rapid and efficient solution to treat effluents containing Cr(VI). Pineapple core showed the best biosorption properties and good distribution coefficients (distribution coefficient KD
8.35–99.20 mL/g) and the optimization of the adsorption was carried out by a response surface methodology using the Box–Behnken design. Thus, the effect of pH, biosorbent dosage, and temperature were assessed during the whole procedure. Three different responses were studied—Cr(VI) removal, Cr biosorption, and distribution coefficient—and the optimal conditions for maximizing the responses were identified by numerical optimization applying the desirability function. The resulting optimal conditions were: initial solution pH 2.01, biosorbent dosage 30 g/L, and temperature 30.05 °C. Finally, the process scale-up was evaluated by the simulation of the process working with a column of 100 L using the Fixed-bed Adsorption Simulation Tool (FASTv2.1). This research presents the obtained environmental benefits: i) reduction of pineapple waste, ii) Cr(VI) reduction and biosorption, iii) shortest sorption time for Cr, iv) properties that allow the biosorption process on the flow system, and v) low-cost process.
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