Sorption of europium by malt spent rootlets, a low cost biosorbent: effect of pH, kinetics and equilibrium studies
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The uptake of lanthanide elements by naturally abundant materials, is a matter of great economic and environmental interest. This study is an exploration of the potential utilization of malt spent rootlets (MSR), which are by-products of malting process, for a cost effective pre-concentration of Eu(III). The effect of solution pH, contact time and initial concentration under constant ionic strength and temperature were studied. Kinetic data were applied to pseudo-first, second order and Elovich equations, as well as intra-particle diffusion model. Pseudo-second order and Elovich equation seem to fit our data equally well, whereas diffusion contributes to the whole process. Equilibrium data were evaluated using Langmuir, Freundlich and Dubinin-Radushkevich equations. According to Langmuir model, which fits the data better, europium maximum capacities for MSR and active carbon were found 156 and 86 mg/g respectively, indicating that MSR is a promising biosorbent.
KeywordsSorption Europium Malt spent rootlets Brewery by-products Rare earth elements
The authors gratefully acknowledge Professor P. Ioannou for improving the text, as well as the help of Athenian Brewery S. A. and namely the Patras Brewery Manager, Mr. Vasileios Georgopoulos and the Head of Malting and Brewing Mr. Athanasios Gioulis. This research has been co-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund—ERDF) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program “Regional Operational Programme” of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF)—Research Funding Program: Support for research, technology and innovation actions in Region of Western Greece.
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