Korean Journal of Chemical Engineering

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 1257–1264 | Cite as

Microwave-assisted urea-modified sorghum biomass for Cr (III) elimination from aqueous solutions

  • Muhammad SalmanEmail author
  • Makshoof Athar
  • Umar Farooq
  • Huma Nazir
  • Anam Noor
  • Saba Nazir
Environmental Engineering


The present study concentrated on the use of an agro-waste biodegradable sorghum biomass in its simple and modified forms for the binding of Cr (III) ions. A relatively new method of modification was adopted using urea under microwave irradiation. FTIR analysis showed the presence of oxygen and nitrogen bearing functional groups in unmodified (UMS) and modified (MS) sorghum biomass. The appearance of new bands and shifts in the peaks confirmed the modification. The influence of different process parameters such as the adsorbent dose, solution pH, contact time, agitation speed and initial metal ion concentration was studied thoroughly to evaluate optimum conditions for adsorption. Maximum adsorption for Cr (III) ions occurred at pH 5.0–6.0 using UMS and MS. Langmuir, Freundlich, Temkin, and Dubinin-Radushkevich isotherm models in a non-linear fashion were used to explain the phenomenon. Maximum adsorption capacity was 7.03 and 16.36 mg of Cr (III) per gram of UMS and MS, respectively. Adsorption mechanism was explored by pseudo-first- and pseudo-second-order kinetic models, and it was found that the process followed pseudo-second-order kinetics. Thermodynamic study indicated the process favorability. The study concluded that urea modification under microwave irradiation produces a non-toxic and more effective adsorbent for Cr (III) remediation by inducing new nitrogen bearing functional groups to sorghum biomass.

Key words

Sorghum Urea Modification Non-linear Equilibrium Surface Area Thermodynamics 


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Copyright information

© Korean Institute of Chemical Engineers, Seoul, Korea 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Salman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Makshoof Athar
    • 1
  • Umar Farooq
    • 1
  • Huma Nazir
    • 1
  • Anam Noor
    • 1
  • Saba Nazir
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of ChemistryUniversity of the PunjabLahorePakistan

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