Short hemp fibers, acquired as a waste from textile industry, were used as an efficient biosorbent for removal of zinc ions from polluted water. In order to obtain the material with better sorption properties, short hemp fibers were subjected to oxidative and alkali treatment. The following factors that may influence the sorption properties of short hemp fibers were examined: fiber structure and morphology were characterized by iodine sorption, water retention and scanning electron microscopy, while specific surface area was determined by BET method. Additionally, the amount of carboxyl groups was determined by calcium-acetate method, and the point of zero charge of the short hemp fibers samples was determined by the solid addition method. Biosorption of zinc ions was evaluated through the total uptake capacity, equilibrium and kinetic data. Obtained data were analyzed by nonlinear Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms, as well as pseudo-first and pseudo-second order kinetic models, and the best fitting model was chosen using Akaike information criterion. Chemical modification, used in this work, leads to structural and morphological changes of short hemp fibers, and improvement of their sorption properties. It was found that sorption properties of short hemp fibers are predominantly influenced by surface acidity and the amount of functional groups, while fiber structure and specific surface area have a secondary role in the biosorption of zinc ions. Akakike information criterion values showed that biosorption of zinc ions on all tested hemp fiber samples obey the pseudo-second order adsorption kinetics, while experimental isotherm data fit better with Langmuir model. Biosorption of zinc ions on the hemp fibers is a predominantly chemical process, which mainly follows the mechanism of ion exchange on acidic functional groups, and occurs through the fast surface adsorption, intraparticle diffusion and final equilibrium stage.
Biosorption Short hemp fibers Heavy metals Adsorption isotherms Kinetics
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