Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 20, pp 19585–19604 | Cite as

Retention and release of hexavalent and trivalent chromium by chitosan, olive stone activated carbon, and their blend

  • Seydou Ba
  • Abdelhakim Alagui
  • Mohamed Hajjaji
Research Article


Shrimp shells and waste of olive stones were used as feedstock for the preparation of chitosan and activated carbon. The adsorption of CrVI and CrIII species in aqueous solution by the materials prepared and their blend were studied by using the well-known kinetic and isotherm models, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscope. It was demonstrated that the rates of adsorption were controlled by diffusion inside particles and throughout the liquid film, and adsorption occurred spontaneously (− 26 < ∆G° < − 15 kJ/mol) in the range of 298–333 K, except for that involving CrIII species and activated carbon. The maximum amounts of Cr species retained by the composite (146 mg of CrVI/g and 33 mg of CrIII/g at 298 K) were three times greater than those of the basic constituents. Adsorption was markedly affected by temperature and pH, and CrVI species were substantially desorbed in acid mediums, particularly in acetic acid solution. The recovery of CrIII species varied according to the adsorbent and the solution used. The immobilization of CrVI species (HCrO4 and CrO42−) and CrIII species (Cr(OH)2+ and Cr3(OH)45+) by chitosan was accomplished by means of amine moieties and hydroxyls of D-glucosamine units of the biopolymer. The adsorption of CrVI species on activated carbon involved π electrons of aromatic rings as well as oxygenated sites (C–OH, C=O, C–O–C). In such a condition, CrVI was partially reduced into CrIII. For the composite, the amino functional groups of chitosan and hydroxyls of both constituents were implicated in the linkage of the biopolymer and activated carbon, and the C–O–H and C–O–C functional groups of chitosan were involved in the retention of CrVI species. For CrIII species, adsorption occurred preferentially on hydroxyls of the components, and consequently, the chains of the biopolymer recovered some flexibility.


Chitosan Activated carbon Composite Chromium cations Adsorption Regeneration 


Funding information

This work was financially supported by the CNRST under grant no. PPR/26/2015.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physico-chimie des Matériaux et Environnement, Faculté des Sciences SemlaliaUniversité Cadi AyyadMarrakechMorocco

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