Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 548-555

First online:

Sunflower stalk, an agricultural waste, as an adsorbent for the removal of lead and cadmium from aqueous solutions

  • Mohsen JalaliAffiliated withDepartment of Soil Science, College of Agriculture, Bu-Ali Sina University Email author 
  • , Fathemeh AboulghaziAffiliated withFaculty of Chemistry, Bu-Ali Sina University

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Sunflower residue, an agricultural waste material for the removal of lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) from aqueous solutions were investigated using a batch method. Adsorbent was prepared by washing sunflower residue with deionized water until the effluent was colorless. Batch mode experiments were carried out as a function of solution pH, adsorbent dosage, initial concentration and contact time. The results indicated that the adsorbent showed good sorption potential and maximum metal removal was observed at pH 5. Within 150 min of operation about 97 and 87 % of Pb and Cd ions were removed from the solutions, respectively. Lead and Cd sorption curves were well fitted to the modified two-site Langmuir model. The adsorption capacities for Pb and Cd at optimum conditions were 182 and 70 mg g−1, respectively. The kinetics of Pb and Cd adsorption from aqueous solutions were analyzed by fitting the experimental data to a pseudo-second-order kinetic model and the rate constant was found to be 8.42 × 10−2 and 8.95 × 10−2 g mg−1 min−1 for Cd and Pb, respectively. The results revealed that sunflower can adsorb considerable amount of Pb and Cd ions and thus could be an economical method for the removal of Pb and Cd from aqueous systems.


Sunflower Adsorbent Lead Cadmium Isotherm