Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 25, pp 26159–26169 | Cite as

A comparative study of using barberry stem powder and ash as adsorbents for adsorption of humic acid

  • Maryam Khodadadi
  • Tariq J. Al-Musawi
  • Mohammad Kamranifar
  • Mohammad Hossein Saghi
  • Ayat Hossein PanahiEmail author
Research Article


In the present research, investigation of the practical utility of barberry stem powder (BSP) and barberry stem ash (BSA) for humic acid (HA) removal from an aqueous medium by adsorption was carried out. The adsorption process was tested by varying of pH (3–11), reaction time (5–20 min), initial HA concentration (5–40 mg/L), adsorbent dosage (1–4 g/L), and temperature (15–35 °C). The isothermal results revealed that the adsorption process is favorable for both used adsorbents and it is highly described using the Freundlich and Langmuir models (R2 > 0.960). Also, the maximum uptakes of BSP and BSA for HA were 20.220 and 16.950 mg/g at the abovementioned optimized conditions (pH = 7, reaction time = 10 min, temperature = 15 °C, initial HA concentration = 40 mg/L, and adsorbent amount = 1.0 g/L), respectively. The results achieved from the fitting of the experimental data with Dubinin-Radushkevich isotherm model showed that the HA molecules are adsorbed onto the BSP and BSA by physiosorption process. From the thermodynamic study, it appeared that the biosorption process of the HA onto two studied adsorbents was of exothermic nature. The kinetics of the adsorption process of HA has been found to be pseudo-second-order model (R2 = 0.930–0.999). Thus, the results obtained from this paper elucidated that the BSP exhibited higher adsorption capacity in comparison to BSA, for HA removal up to permissible concentrations.


Barberry stem Ash Humic acid Adsorption mechanism Environmental conditions 



The authors express their gratitude to colleagues at the research laboratory/Faculty of Health/Birjand University of Medical Sciences (Iran) for their spiritual support at various stages of this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maryam Khodadadi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tariq J. Al-Musawi
    • 3
  • Mohammad Kamranifar
    • 2
  • Mohammad Hossein Saghi
    • 4
  • Ayat Hossein Panahi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Social Determinants of Health Research CenterBirjand University of Medical SciencesBirjandIran
  2. 2.Medical Toxicology and Drug abuse Research Center (MTDRC)Birjand University of Medical Sciences (BUMS)BirjandIran
  3. 3.Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringIsra UniversityAmmanJordan
  4. 4.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public HealthSabzevar University of Medical ScienceSabzevarIran

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