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Comparative assessment of raw and acid-activated preparations of novel Pongamia pinnata shells for adsorption of hexavalent chromium from simulated wastewater


Current study deals with the comparative assessment for efficient adsorption of Cr(VI) from simulated wastewater using raw (NPP), phosphoric acid-activated (PPP) and sulphuric acid-activated (SPP) Pongamia pinnata shells. Physico-chemical alterations of the adsorbent were characterised by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), zeta-potential analysis, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and total pore analysis using Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET). Parameters influencing the efficient biosorption of Cr(VI) species viz. initial pH of Cr(VI) solution, dosage of biosorbent, biosorbent-Cr(VI) contact period, initial concentration of Cr(VI) ions and reaction temperature were optimised. Various two-parameter and three-parameter isotherm models, kinetic models and thermodynamic studies were performed using equilibrium data. Langmuir adsorption capacity for NPP (raw biomass), PPP (phosphoric acid-activated biomass) and SPP (sulphuric acid-activated biomass) was found to be 96.2, 152 and 192 mg/g, respectively. All the biosorbents gave best fit for pseudo-second-order model. Thermodynamic studies suggest spontaneous and endothermic interaction with increased degree of randomness. Effect of co-existing cations and anions on Cr(VI) biosorption onto the biosorbents implied that minimal competition and the biosorption capacity of the biosorbents for Cr(VI) species remained unaffected. Regeneration studies suggest that activated biosorbents can be used up to three times with continuous desorption.

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The authors are grateful to the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati for providing the research grounds and facilities. The authors also acknowledge the facilities provided by the Central Instrumentation Facility (CIF), Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati.


The IITG Start-up Research Grant (Grant No. BSBESUGIITG01213xSEN001) provided funding for this research.

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Correspondence to Selvaraju Narayanasamy.

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Patra, C., Shahnaz, T., Subbiah, S. et al. Comparative assessment of raw and acid-activated preparations of novel Pongamia pinnata shells for adsorption of hexavalent chromium from simulated wastewater. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2020).

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  • Biosorption
  • Physico-chemical activation
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Two/three parameter isotherms
  • Kinetics
  • Thermodynamics