Pollution Research Paper

Vol.31, Issue 04, 2012; Page No.(687-691)

REMOVAL OF COPPER AND NICKEL FROM AQUEOUS SOLUTIONS USING NATURAL ADSORBENTS

T.J. THOMAS AND G. MADHU

Abstract

A major cause for the presence of copper and nickel in aquatic systems is the leaching of chemicals and pesticides from agricultural lands to the nearby water bodies. Gradually these metal ions pollute drinking water sources and thus many of the water sources contain metal ions beyond the permissible limits. The removal of heavy metal ions from water sources by cost effective methods are gaining more importance. Recently new technologies have been developed for the removal of heavy metal ions from contaminated water samples.Biosorption is one such technology that can be very effectively used for the removal of metal ions from water samples. The aim of the present study is the removal of copper and nickel from water samples by low-cost and abundant, plant materials as adsorbents. Charcoal prepared from the bark of Phyllanthus emblica and the seed pods of Gmelina arborea are the adsorbents used for the investigation. The adsorption efficiency, effect of pH, the adsorbent dosage and the contact time were studied. The experiments were conducted at room temperature and the adsorption efficiency of the materials used was found to be promising. The adsorption was found to be pH dependent in the removal of copper and nickel from water samples. The best results were obtained in the pH range 4.00 – 5.00. A definite amount (500 mg) of the adsorbents had an uptake of 55 to 60 mg of the metal ions from 0.025 molar metal ion solutions.

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