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Removal of methylene blue dye from aqueous solution using immobilized Agrobacterium fabrum biomass along with iron oxide nanoparticles as biosorbent

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A nano-biosorbent for the removal of methylene blue (MB) was prepared by encapsulating iron oxide nanoparticles (NPs) and Agrobacterium fabrum strain SLAJ731, in calcium alginate. The prepared biosorbent was optimized for the maximum adsorption capacity at pH 11, 160 rpm, and 25 °C. Adsorption kinetics was examined using pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order, and intra-particle diffusion (IPD) models. The kinetic data agreed to pseudo-second-order model indicating chemisorption of MB, which was also explained by FTIR analysis. The adsorption rate constant (k2) decreased and initial adsorption rate (h, mg g−1 min−1) increased, with an increase in initial dye concentration. The dye adsorption process included both IPD and surface adsorption, where IPD was found to be a rate-limiting step after 60 min of adsorption. The adsorption capacity was found to be 91 mg g−1 at 200 mg L−1 dye concentration. Adsorption data fitted well to Freundlich isotherm; however, it did not fit to Langmuir isotherm, indicating adsorbent surfaces were not completely saturated (monolayer formed) up to the concentration of 200 mg L−1 of MB. Thermodynamic studies proposed that the adsorption process was spontaneous and exothermic in nature. Biosorbent showed no significant decrease in adsorption capacity even after four consecutive cycles. The present study demonstrated dead biomass along with NPs as a potential biosorbent for the treatment of toxic industrial effluents.

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The authors would like to acknowledge the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of technology Guwahati, for providing us a generous chance to be a part of this institute, and Central Instrument Facility (CIF), IIT Guwahati, for allowing access to various facilities that augmented the work.


This work was financially supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (Sanction Nos: DST/INSPIRE/04/2014/002020, ECR/2016/001027).

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Correspondence to Lalit M. Pandey.

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Responsible editor: Guilherme L. Dotto

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Sharma, S., Hasan, A., Kumar, N. et al. Removal of methylene blue dye from aqueous solution using immobilized Agrobacterium fabrum biomass along with iron oxide nanoparticles as biosorbent. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 21605–21615 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-2280-z

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  • Biosorbent
  • Immobilized
  • Methylene blue
  • Adsorption
  • Intraparticle diffusion
  • Isotherm