International Journal of Environmental Research

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 991–1003 | Cite as

Adsorption and Removal of Methylene Blue from Aqueous Solution Using Sterile Bract of Araucaria angustifolia as Novel Natural Adsorbent

  • Caroline Aparecida Matias
  • Pâmela Becalli Vilela
  • Valter Antonio Becegato
  • Alexandre Tadeu PaulinoEmail author
Research paper


The aim of this work was to study the adsorption and removal of methylene blue from aqueous solution using sterile bract of Araucaria angustifolia as novel natural adsorbent. Raw and boiling-treated sterile bract samples were characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and point of zero charge. The contents of humidity, ash, total extractive content, lignin and cellulose were 13.20, 3.30, 7.12, 44.45 and 30.92%, respectively. The methylene blue adsorption mechanism in the sterile bract was evaluated using non-linear Langmuir, Freundlich, Redlich–Peterson and Sips isotherm models, whereas the adsorption kinetic was evaluated using pseudo-first- and pseudo-second-order kinetic models. The methylene blue removal efficiencies of the raw and boiling-treated bracts were 98.59 ± 0.01 and 99.90 ± 0.01%, respectively, after 480 min. The best adsorption efficiency was found within 480 min of contact, 5.0 g of adsorbent with 500 mesh granulometry, pH = 6, initial adsorbate concentration of 150 mg L−1 and temperature of 292 K. The maximum methylene blue adsorption capacities of the raw and boiling-treated bracts according to the non-linear Langmuir isotherm model were 125.34 and 138.65 mg dye per gram bract, respectively. The kinetic fit depends on the solution pH, determination coefficient and Chi square test statistic. From thermodynamic results, it was concluded that the adsorption process is favorable, spontaneous (ΔG < 0), exothermic (ΔH < 0) and disordered at the solid–solution interface (ΔS > 0). Overall, the sterile bract of Araucaria angustifolia could be applied as low-cost alternative adsorbent for the treatment of textile industry wastewater.

Article Highlights

  • Adsorption of methylene blue on sterile bract structures was performed.

  • FT-IR, SEM and point of zero-charge confirmed the adsorbent properties.

  • The adsorption process was influenced by pH, temperature and particle sizes.

  • Adsorption was favorable, exothermic and disordered at the solid–solution interface.

  • The adsorbent was efficient for the removal of methylene blue from aqueous solutions.


Methylene blue Sterile bract Araucaria angustifolia Adsorption Adsorbent 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the Brazilian fostering agency FAPESC for the master scholarship and research support. This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—Brasil (CAPES)—Finance Code 001.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© University of Tehran 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Postgraduate Program in Environmental SciencesSanta Catarina State UniversityLagesBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Food and Chemical EngineeringSanta Catarina State UniversityPinhalzinhoBrazil

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